Showing posts with label George Theodore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Theodore. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Willie Mays inspired a Mets rookie teammate in his final campaign

George Theodore was a rookie left fielder for the New York Mets in 1973 when he found himself sharing the outfield with one of baseball's greatest legends, Willie Mays. Mays and Theodore were on the opposite ends of their respective careers; the veteran Mays playing in the last of his 22 Hall of Fame seasons, and the young Theodore working to gain a toehold in the Mets starting lineup. Returning to Flushing during the weekend of Mays' 80th birthday for a series of New York Mets Alumni Association events, Theodore said Mays had ability to energize his teammates just by his presence on the field.

“Willie Mays had a magnetism that nobody had," Theodore said. "You could just feel it. He'd get up to hit and you kind of fed off the crowd. He was such a positive person; I was so happy to get to know him.”

George Theodore / N. Diunte
Ironically Theodore's greatest memory of playing alongside Mays was not the lessons he learned on how to patrol the outfield, or watching Mays rekindle the spirit of the Polo Grounds, but a time when he was given an error on a play he shared with Mays.

On June 11, 1973, together in outfield during a game against Mays' former team, the San Francisco Giants, a 400-foot smash was hit to left-center and both outfielders pursued it. Theodore described the events of the play as it unfolded.

Willie Mays / N. Diunte
“One game on national TV, I was in left field and he was in center," he said. "The ball was hit into left-center and I think I'll go get it because Willie couldn't throw too much at the time. He beats me there with his beautiful instincts [which were evident] even then, and he gets to the ball. He then tosses it to me for me to throw it, but I didn't know it was coming, so it dropped. I quickly picked up it and I threw it in. They gave me an error. I think they changed it subsequently, but that was the biggest honor I could have, taking that error from Willie Mays.”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New York Mets partner up with Jillian Michaels to benefit Dress for Success

The New York Mets Alumni Association, presented by Citi, as part of their ongoing “Teammates in the Community” series, lent a hand Saturday in Battery Park to Dress for Success for their annual power walk fundraiser. Mets alumni John Franco, George “The Stork” Theodore and Mr. Met were on hand to help kick off the event, along with Dress for Success' official spokesperson, fitness guru Jillian Michaels. Over 500 participants on a beautiful day in New York City participated in the 5K walk to benefit the organization.

John Franco, George Theodore and Mr. Met jump start the event
Franco, the Mets career leader in saves, currently works as an ambassador for the Mets. He helped to rally the troops prior to the beginning of the race, encouraging the crowd to, “have fun and support all of the wonderful women that will benefit from today's event.”

Theodore, affectionately nicknamed “The Stork” for his tall and thin appearance, was also thrilled to be back in New York as part of the day's festivities. “To be a part of this event, which is such a worthy cause, it's great. It's energizing coming back to New York and just build my wife and my whole family's spirit.”

Dress for Success an international not-for-profit organization that provides professional attire to disadvantaged women to assist them in their employment seeking endeavors. For more information about Dress for Success, visit them online at DressforSuccess.org.