Despite what you may think of last night’s record breaking and subsequent game-stopping ceremony (which involved a scary emotional version of Barry Bonds), there’s no denying that the dual appearance of Willie Mays and Hank Aaron made the night especially memorable.
Aaron’s appearance on the scoreboard was, quite frankly, chillingly reminiscent of James Earl Jones’ beautiful “blackboard” speech in Field of Dreams, right down to the deep voice and ultra-eloquent diction. He was stately. He somehow found a way to pay his respects yet rise above the occasion. Perfectly played, Mr. Aaron.
Willie Mays’ appearance was a bit more upsetting to us. When he first emerged from the dugout with microphone in hand, we were expecting him to say a few words. But, like Omar Vizquel and Rajai Davis, he just got a hug from Barry. Then we were expecting an acknowledgement in Bonds’ little speech. But nothing. Not even another hug or handshake. Nothing from Renel Brooks. Nothing from Bonds. No whispers. No jokes. No goodbye. No mixing with the family. Mays was just there. The greatest player in history, Bonds’ godfather, could have been Jon Miller.
Was this weird to anyone else? Or, as big Willie Mays fans, are we just oversensitive?