Special to the AmNews
“I don’t like people who talk about what they’ve done for others,” stated Hall of Fame baseball great Willie Mays, speaking to students during the P.S./M.S. 46–Arthur Tappan School assembly on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem.
But that didn’t stop the school’s principal, George Young, from praising the contributions of Mays.
“He’s been very supportive of this school,” said Young. “He’s given money for the music and the arts program. Several years ago, he purchased brand‑new instruments for our entire band.”
The legendary Mays, 83, an ambassador for the San Francisco Giants, was joined on stage by Joe Panik, 25, the Giants’ second baseman. Panik, from Westchester County, also sang the praises of Mays.
“You get a wealth of knowledge from guys like Willie,” said Panik. “He’s so willing to give of his time. … You appreciate his interest in the sport and his love of the game. I just appreciate being around him.”
The former New York Giants played at the legendary Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan until 1957. When the team moved west to California, Mays (known fondly as “The Say Hey Kid.”) and his Giants team popularized the area years before it became the mecca of street stick ball.