Hall of Famer and baseball royalty Willie Mays, "The Say Hey Kid," turned 90 years old on Thursday and was honored by MLB , clubs and fans. President Barack Obama is arguably the most famous individual to send his best wishes, and he also thanked Jackie Robinson, who famously broke MLB's color barrier in 1947.
Happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays! If it wasn't for folks like Willie and Jackie Robinson, I might never have made it to the White House. The spirit he played with and the way he carried himself changed the game and people’s attitudes. I’m glad he’s still going strong. pic.twitter.com/DTlRlart5U— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 6, 2021
Last July, Dan D'Addona of the Holland Sentinel wrote that Mays "was the first Black superstar in the game after Jackie Robinson, and was more beloved than Robinson." Mays earned 24 All-Star nods, two Most Valuable Player Awards and one World Series championship during his historic career. He also completed what remains the most well-known catch of any made in a Fall Classic game back in 1954:
President Obama honored Mays with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2015: