Hard Cover. New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1979. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First book club edition (no price on front flap), second printing. Signed by Willie Mays on half-title page. Publisher’s black cloth-backed red boards with titles in gilt to spine, pictorial endpapers; original white dust jacket with photo collage to front panel featuring Mays, Frank Sinatra, and Martin Luther King Jr., titles printed in black, jacket designed by Graphic Promotion Associates. Near fine with light spotting to spine; near fine jacket with touch of wear to head of spine, and light toning to jacket verso. Overall, a sharp copy with a fresh interior. "This memoir is a single story. It deals with a man and his occupation and his times-- three separate subjects. But when the times reflect the great civil rights revolution of America's post-war era; and when the occupation is baseball, so unique to the United States that in truth it triggered that revolution; and when the man is Willie Mays...then in fact it is one subject, not three." Willie Mays' Major League Baseball career started in the Negro Leagues with the Chattanooga Choo-Choos and the Birmingham Black Barons before joining the New York Giants at centerfield in 1951, and becoming the NL Rookie of the Year. After serving in the military for most of the 1952-1953 seasons, Mays made a triumphant return to baseball to lead the league with a .345 batting average and winning the National League MVP and the World Series in 1954. Nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", Mays was one of greatest all around players baseball has ever seen. He finished his career batting over .300 (.303 lifetime), 12 Gold Glove Awards, winning his second NL MVP award in 1965, fifth all-time in career home runs (660), lead the league 4 times in both home runs and stolen bases, and one of only three players to record over 3000 career hits and 500 home runs. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility.