Thursday was Willie Mays’ 90th birthday. The San Francisco Giants wished him happy birthday, as a team is prone to do when arguably the greatest player in baseball history, who starred for your franchise for 21 years, hits a milestone birthday.
The Giants opted to post a series of video tributes from celebrities. Solid move. Easy, lovable, content. What better way to celebrate a person’s greatness than a bunch of other great people telling that person how he’s even greater than they are?
Personally, if I’m ever considered the best in the world at something, I absolutely want the second and third-best in the world to tell me how great I am at it, and then I want the best in the world at other things to tell me as well. That would be a helluva 90th birthday gift. Get your cameras ready, y’all.
Anyway, I bring you this video collection not so you can celebrate Mays (which you should definitely do), but so you can marvel with me at the nine people the Giants selected for the video.
Two of the nine were absolute obvious choices: Barry Bonds and Vin Scully. Bonds is Mays’ godson, a Giants legend as well, and perhaps the only player who can reasonably claim to be Mays’ equal. Scully is the most famous name in baseball broadcasting, and despite being the voice of the Dodgers for decades, has admitted that Mays is his favorite player. If you want someone to talk about a baseball player, it’s Scully.
Five of the nine were, if not obvious, very understandable selections: Bob Costas, an all-time great baseball broadcaster; Steph Curry, one of the only Bay Area athletes to match Mays’ popularity; Dusty Baker, a fellow Giants legend whose playing career overlapped with Mays’; Robin Roberts, a legendary broadcaster and pioneer; and Ken Griffey Jr., one of baseball’s greatest hitters.
Seven up, seven down, we’re doing great.
So let’s talk about the other two. Actually, let’s not talk about them, let’s just mention their names: Snoop Dogg and George W. Bush.
Once more: Snoop Dogg and George W. Bush.
Snoop gleefully called Mays “way up there in age” and Bush gave the appearance of struggling with a teleprompter, wishing Mays a “90th happy birthday,” which is totally how you say that.
Anyway, here’s the video. If nothing else, it’s entertaining.
Happy birthday, Willie Mays. You’re one of a kind.