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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Willie and #660, 40 Years Ago Today

What were the odds?  From the age of 8,  Willie Mays was my favorite player.  I lived and died with him,  from the move to San Francisco to the very late return to New York with the Mets.  And the Mets were my team, so I saw Willie play a handful of games in 1972 and 1973.  Still what were the odds I'd be sitting out there in leftfield, over the bullpen, forty years ago today, and watch a ball hit by Willie vs. the Reds sail right past me into the pen, since he hardly ever hit HRs anymore?  And not only that, it turned out to be his final dinger, #660.

That number has added significance these days, as it's frequently cited, with Alex"A-Roid' Rodriquez closing in on it, being allowed to play despite his nearly career-long PED use.  And when he ties Willie's mark he gets another $6 million or something from his contract...So let A-Roid hit .300 this year, but with only a few HRs, then get suspended and maybe never play again....

BTW, I was also at Shea for Willie's tribute night that September when he tearfully said "goodbye to Amercia." And then his final playoff game, when his swinging bunt drove in the winning run over the Reds that put the Mets into the '73 World Series.

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