Obama and Willie Mays: The Men of Summer

By Gina Acebo Jul 15, 2009

President Barack Obama talks with baseball great Willie Mays aboard Air Force One en route to the MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis, July 14, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Myself, I’m an Oakland A’s fan, but I can’t help but smile at this awesome picture of President Obama who flew with with baseball legend Willie Mays on AirForce One to last night’s All Stars game in St. Louis. Mays, who played most of his professional career with the San Francisco Giants, began playing pro baseball when segregation was still widespread. On Election Night, Mays recalls being in Chicago and weeping for joy for the president elect and remembering how his own break through the colorline may have helped : "So that tells me all the things I went through, it was for good things," said Mays…"So I’m just proud of him, you know. He may be proud of something else. But I’m proud of him, what he stands for." For more on Willie Mays’ history in baseball and race, check out the interview at achievement.org