Willie Mays' Home Run
In 1957 when the newly-signed Willie Mays and his wife were house hunting in San Francisco they settled on a three-bedroom home (top photo) in Sherwood Forest, a small upscale neighborhood near St. Francis Wood. Mays agreed to the owner's $37,500 price but when the neighbors found out the new owner was "colored" they pressured the seller and he backed out of the deal.

When the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front page story about the incident and Mayor George Christopher intervened the home seller again reversed himself and offered the home to Mays. Now the neighbors were incensed and made life hard on the new-comers. Later when a bottle containing a racial hate note crashed through the front window of the home the ballplayer decided to move.

In his second home on Mendosa Street (bottom photo) in the Forest Hill neighborhood Willie found that he was well received by the neighborhood. At a block party to welcome him thrown by the Forest Hill Association Mays ate cake, ice cream and autographed photos for the neighborhood kids. Many of his new neighbors in Forest Hill admitted being ashamed for the way Willie had been treated by other San Franciscans.

For his part Mays, ever the gentleman, never spoke out publicly and kept saying that wasn't mad at anyone.

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