“The Catch” is a tribute to one of the greatest players in the history of baseball—Willie Mays. This acrobatic basket catch was not only one of the greatest moments ever captured, but even still today when a kid makes a catch over his shoulder, it’s still referred to as a 'Willie Mays' catch. This one Mays play is but one important achievement in a once-in-a-lifetime career that saw Mays win two Most Valuable Player Awards, hit four home runs in a game, and be chosen for 24 All-Star Games. Playing first in the Negro Leagues, Mays went on to become one of the greatest—if not the greatest—of Major League baseball players and to be part of the core of the first generation of African-American stars who helped to make the 1950s a golden age of the sport.
This tribute painting is an offering to the canon of art history and is one of Willie Mays' personal favorite paintings. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Mays in 2015 when I did two paintings for the San Francisco Giants organization- “The Slide” which is owned by Willie Mays himself, and “The Catch” - BUA