I came across this ad in a local newspaper. It’s worth sharing. Of course I was a great fan of Willie Mays as was almost every New Yorker when I was growing up. So read and appreciate how lucky we are to have people like this among us.
“My dad, Willie Howard “Cat” Mays, Sr.
was an amazing man. He was a good father, a worker in a steel mill and a
terrific ball player in his own right, but the most important lesson he ever
taught me was: Respect. It’s a message that helped me become both the
ballplayer I was and the man I am today.
I remember when I was about six years old there was a boy on my walk to
school always wanting my sandwich. I told my dad I’m going to whup
him. My Dad said, “No, son, you’re not. What you’re going to do is give
him your sandwich and ask for half of it back. You see, that boy could
be hungry and doesn’t want to admit it.” Well, I thought that was
crazy but I did it and, to my surprise, he gave me back half the
sandwich. It turns out he really was hungry. Without even
thinking about it, my dad knew that by showing the boy
respect, he would in turn respect me. Not only did it work,
but we became friends, too.
Later on in my baseball career, I had plenty of moments when opposing
pitchers would try to knock me down. In my head was my dad’s voice: “If you get
mad, they win. Teach them to respect you.” I turned what could have been anger into
concentrating on hitting the ball over the fence. And my dad was right again…I respected
what those pitchers were doing, and they learned to respect me.”