By Kathy Chouteau
Willie Mays is a “maybe” for this Saturday’s “Willie Mays Day” in Richmond due to health challenges, but that hasn’t dulled the spirit of fans looking forward to honoring “The Say Hey Kid” by naming the Nicholl Park baseball fields after him. Aside from christening the diamonds “Willie Mays Junior Giants Fields,” a parade and ceremony will also be part of the schedule Sat., May 21.
Michael Mays, son of the baseball Hall of Famer, will be there alongside fans at the celebration, which will kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade departing from Richmond City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond, and proceeding to nearby Nicholl Park, 3230 Macdonald Ave. A ceremony honoring Willie Mays will take place at Nicholl Park at 11 a.m., followed by a youth baseball exhibition game at 12 p.m.
Due to the event, the Richmond Police Department advised that Macdonald Avenue will be fully closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. between Civic Center Plaza and 31st Street. Additionally, no street parking will be permitted in the area from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mays has strong ties to Richmond: He participated in the city’s Annual March of Dimes’ events at Nicholl Park during the 1960s and 1970s to help youth in need, according to the Richmond City Manager’s report.
For more info about Willie Mays Day, contact the Recreation Department at 510-620-6793 or [email protected].