Customer Reviews for

Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend

Average Rating 3.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Willies Story

This book has so many stories told by Willie that I have never read anywhere before. I find it very difficult to put the book down. Anyone who has a love of baseball will love this book. I highly recoomend it for your own reading pleasure or as a gift to a sports-ori...
This book has so many stories told by Willie that I have never read anywhere before. I find it very difficult to put the book down. Anyone who has a love of baseball will love this book. I highly recoomend it for your own reading pleasure or as a gift to a sports-oriented friend or relative.

posted by BlackNGold on May 15, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A tough read

isI gave up on this book after 40 pages. To that point it was mainly about the experience of blacks in baseball before the sport became integrated, with a tidbit about Willie Mays added here and there. If you are interested in reading about Willie Mays, good luck wadi...
isI gave up on this book after 40 pages. To that point it was mainly about the experience of blacks in baseball before the sport became integrated, with a tidbit about Willie Mays added here and there. If you are interested in reading about Willie Mays, good luck wading through these 600 pages.

posted by 799837 on February 12, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    A tough read

    isI gave up on this book after 40 pages. To that point it was mainly about the experience of blacks in baseball before the sport became integrated, with a tidbit about Willie Mays added here and there. If you are interested in reading about Willie Mays, good luck wading through these 600 pages.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Willies Story

    This book has so many stories told by Willie that I have never read anywhere before. I find it very difficult to put the book down. Anyone who has a love of baseball will love this book. I highly recoomend it for your own reading pleasure or as a gift to a sports-oriented friend or relative.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good summer baseball read

    As an upper-20's baseball fan I found this book to be very detailed and informative. It quenched my thirst to learn more about Mays during his playing days and especially during the social fabric of America at the time.

    Unless you're without a day job, you won't read this book in a week. It's long, but very good, if you don;t mind spending a couple weeks chipping away over your lunch hour and before bedtime.

    SOLID BOOK and RECOMMENDED!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    Living Legend

    Hirsch attention to detail captures Willie's legendary status. His writing style is as fluid and graceful as Willie in his prime. The descriptions of Birmingham in the 40s and 50s was riveting, as was his tracing Willie's ascent through the Negro League and minors--overall a valuable history lesson. Also a great thrill ride through baseball's new golden age into the modern era. Willie's personal story parallels baseball's rise, peak, and the beginning of the decline. Hirsh's description of the end of Willie's playing career is as painful to read as it was to see. Hirsch captures it brilliantly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Truly Great Baseball Book!

    As a true baseball fan and a child of the 60's I loved this book packed with such intricate detail and Willie expressions. The reader gets a great understanding as to Willie the man and why he is so softspoken. Willie's personality somewhat reminded me of how Lou Gerhig was portrayed in Pride of the Yankees.

    Having k...nown practically nothing about Willie's pre-Giant days I really enjoyed tales of how he juggled his high school studies with playing on traveling teams and the Negro Leagues. We learn about Cat Mays who may have been as talented as Willie, but lived in a era where blacks had no opportunity to make the major leagues. Willie's father was away most of his childhood and Willie's mother worked in theaters so Willie was really raised by his aunt.

    In some instances the book literally seems to transport you back in time as you relive events virtually as if they were happening. I feel like I lived through the 51 playoffs and 54 World Series.

    We learn in detail the reason for the Giants move to San Francisco, the big project bust that was Candlestick Park and Joan Payson's crusade to bring Willie back to New York.

    The book is loaded with great tales of such colorful characters as Leo Durocher, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda. Willie was not too fond of manager Bill Rigney but seemed to fare better under Alvin Dark. We learn about Willie's tense relationships with people like Yogi Berra and others.

    This book is a "must" for a baseball fan's library and by the time you finish the book you will feel like you grew up and old with Willie personally!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Hagiography of th Great Willie Mays

    I remember Willie Mays playing baseball. I think he was the best total player of my lifetime.

    The book is a celebration of Willie Mays. I am happy to celebrate Mays with Hirsch. I think Hirsch's style and telling of the book was outstanding. Hirsch captured the times with Mays's transcendance of the troubled race relations. Mays was a great baseball player for some, and for others, he was only a black player.

    Hirsch depicts Mays as a man with a strongh relationship to his mentor father and strong relationships with other mentors as he grew up. Mays became mentor to others players as he neared the end of his career.

    Hirsch drew a contrast between Mays and Jackie Robinson. Mays was stoic and steadfast, Robinson was a complainer. Both had valid perspectives.

    I do not think that Hirsch had much balance when speaking about the caucasion players of Mays's time. It makes me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of his writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Fantastic Book

    Willie Mays is one of the greatest players in baseball and this is a book that does fair job at reviewing the early years and paying days of the Say Hey Kid. While the author acknowledges that the material is essentially based on interviews and material already in existence, the writer does a great job of weaving the actual events with anecdotes from players, writers and other baseball men. A great baseball read to start the season.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2015

    highly recommended!!!

    Great story!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Bjorn to bw

    Lol thx for the help bw

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Hi

    Potts yo like cum?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Riolu

    Nothing...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2012

    If you can make it through the first third of the book, it's worth reading...

    Anyone that knows me knows that I have a passion for baseball. So, I often try to read something baseball related. I also like to read about great people. Recently, I saw that Willie Mays and I shared the same birthday and I saw this book in the bargain bin. Willie Mays definitely had an interesting life. From his time in the Negro Leagues to his debut in the major leagues, Willie's story shows what you can overcome if you work hard, never give up and are surrounded by supporting and loving people. With that being said...you will need to be patient with this version of Mays' story. The first third of the book reads like a newspaper account and lacks the charm, wonder, drama and excitement you would expect. The last two thirds of the book do a much better job of drawing the reader into Mays' life. I learned much about Mays' life (including that Jackie Robinson sounded like a bitter jerk), but I almost quit on this book because of the antiseptic first 200 pages. I'm glad I stuck it out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2011

    a lot of willie

    it is a very good book as far as telling the readers about the negro leagues and his growing up days, the people in this life Leo and the rest make for a very entertaining read and over all a very good book, maybe a little to much about every home run and catch he ever made but being a Mays fan I liked that,

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    the real Willie Mays. Highly recommend.

    I thought this book gave a great account of this great ball player's life. many people today have forgotten just what a great all around player he really was. many that have met him at shows, autograph events have depicted him as unfriendly or worse, but having read this book, if this is in fact the case, there are many pages of reasons why.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The life of Willie Mays parallels the social upheavals in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. This book is far more than a biography of the Say Hey Kid; it is a reflection of American life during the two decades after World War II.

    Hirsch is a compelling writer that captivates the essense of the true life of Willie Mays. Mays has been called the most complete baseball player of all time with the five tools that define great ballplayers. What is moving in this book is the way Mays both personified the way southern African-Americans were raised and treated in the South, but also the comparisons and differences of treatment in the North. The unfairness of treatment that black ballplayers received, whether playing in the Negro Leagues or making the breakthrough to the major leagues, is apparent. Baseball is played against the backdrop of the beginnings of the civil rights movement and that theme carries across the decades. Also of significance are the attitudes of the different black players to the response they should or shouldn't give to the movement. Hirsch makes compelling argument to the National League owners as being more receptive to breaking the color barrier than American League owners. Intertwined in the book is the story of the move of both the Dodgers and the Giants from New York to California. And overshadowing the entire book is the relationship between Willie Mays and Giant owner, Horace Stoneham. Willie Mays became a cult hero not only because of his natural ability and great plays, but because of his genuine love of being around kids. Willie enjoyed playing baseball. This is a great book for baseball lovers who remember the players of the 50s and 60s, but it is also a great book for the younger generations to read to try to understand what it was like to be a professional black athlete--- playing in front of thousands of fans---during the time of segregation, unrest, the challenge of the reserve clause and the changes in the game of baseball itself. This book is a gem.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Biography

    Willie May's is a living legend. This book lays his life open for all to read and see just how great of a life he led. He had a humble childhood and grew up to be a happy and humble baseball player, who was thankful for the opportunity he had to play.

    Mays preferred a private life and doesn't talk much about his past, and to be able to get a glimpse of it here, is a rare opportunity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2010

    Superb Book!

    As much as I enjoy the sports genre, I can think of few over the years that are page turners. Willie Mays, by James Hirsch is a page turner; superbly written and an engaging account of one of America's greatest baseball players.

    The book is a well balanced account of Willie Mays's baseball career, his broader life story and the relevent societal backdrop over many decades that gives context to this story of such an interesting American hero.

    Mr. Hirsch treats his subject with great respect, but neither places him on an unapproachable level nor is he overly critical. This balance was greatly appreciated knowing that I was purchasing an biography authorized by Mr. Mays.

    Highly recommended for baseball fans or those who want to better understand this sport from the historical perspective that spans the Negro leagues to the more recent modern era.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Great Biography

    Enjoyed reading this book very much it was very deailed. It showed not only the great abilities of Willie Mays but also the hardships he faced as a black player in the 50's and 60's.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    baseball legend

    "willie mays" is a very indepth book and the arthur has done a remarkable job documeting his early childhood years through his many historic years on the field and he shows how this great player was able to accomplish so many of his amazing acomphments.this book shares so many life lessons about this great player it is a great book to find out how he became so great.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3