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The Greatest Athletes • From Willie Mays To Roger Federer

Photo by @rogerfederer via Instagram.



by Lloyd Davenport


Willie Mays… the “Say Hey Kid”, NY/SF Giants… baseball’s GOAT, or one of them. Growing up in New York, in the ‘50’s, Willie was my baseball hero, not Mickey or the Duke.


In the pre-SportCenter days of no replays, highlights or clips on the news, the only way to watch your sports heroes play was either live in person or live on television.


I remember watching Giants games in the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and early ‘70’s on tv, and the rhythm of the game, for me, centered around Willie’s next turn at bat.


No matter what else I was doing, homework, eating etc., when Willie came to the plate, I dropped everything I was doing to watch the “Say Hey Kid” take his cuts.


Fifty plus years later, it’s “King Roger.” And with all the highlights on SportCenter, YouTube, and the countless other platforms to watch Federer play, it’s still live

(almost always on television) that gives me the most thrill.


So, with every match from Rotterdam last week on live at a watchable hour, I was able to enjoy every minute of the GOAT’s artistry and ascension back to #1, backing up last month’s repeat in Melbourne.


And still doing it at 36 plus years against 20 somethings and millennials! Are you kidding me?


When I was that age, still loving to compete on a sectional and national level, I was eternally grateful for “senior” tennis tournaments—no more thrashings at the hands college players and Men’s Open players. Roger? #1 IN THE WORLD, period!


And no more talk of “shouldn’t Roger think of hanging up the racquet”? It’s now, “How many more years can we be blessed with watching him play”?!

With all that’s going wrong in the world today, here’s one thing that’s going right.

#no.1 #history #legend #newrecord – Photo by @severinluthi via Instagram.

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