Mayor Breed Declares February 4 as "Willie Mays Day" in San Francisco

The City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Giants honor Willie Mays by proclaiming February 4th, 2024 “Willie Mays Day”
February 04, 2024

San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced that the City and County of San Francisco is declaring Sunday February 4, 2024 as “Willie Mays Day” in honor of the date of 2/4/24 aligning with Mays’ jersey number, 24. San Francisco City Hall, Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, Salesforce Tower, Chase Center and the Conservatory of Flowers will all be lit in Giants Orange on Sunday as part of the commemoration.  

Additionally, as part of the commemoration, the SFMTA will bring out Cable Car #24 that was dedicated as the “Willie Mays Car” on his 85th birthday in 2016. The car will depart from the Hyde Terminal with a bell-ringing ceremony at 2:24 p.m. today and will be in service throughout the day. Car #24 is not only a perfect fit for being Mays’ iconic uniform number, but for its history after being restored in 1958, the same year that our beloved Giants moved to San Francisco. 

“It is an incredible honor to commemorate a player who needs no introduction, Willie Mays, for his mark on professional baseball, San Francisco, and the world,” Mayor London Breed said. “When the opportunity arises to commemorate occasions like this, it’s critical that we stop and celebrate the legends like Willie Mays whose skills have inspired generations and whose legacy makes our City shine. What we don’t talk about enough, is how caring and generous Willie is off the field.  From the young people in San Francisco and beyond who have benefited from his philanthropy to the players he’s mentored, his impact is immeasurable.” 

Willie Mays is widely considered the greatest all-around player in Major League Baseball history, and one of the Giants’ most legendary players. During his illustrious career, he earned Rookie of the Year honors, two MVP titles, and 24 All Star Game appearances. He was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.   

The Giants organization is planning additional celebrations in Mays’ honor throughout the year, culminating in a marquee matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals in June at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, the field where Willie Mays got his start as a member of the Birmingham Black Barons.  

“To sports fans around the globe, Willie’s accomplishments and persona as the “Say Hey Kid” resonate every day,” said Larry Baer, President and CEO of the San Francisco Giants. “2.4.24 is one more opportunity to call attention to a man who, in our minds, is the greatest player ever. We are blessed to play our games at 24 Willie Mays Plaza with his image at our front door.”  

"It’s an honor to be with the Mayor to celebrate my godfather on 2-4-24,” said Barry Bonds. “No one deserves it more than him. Say Hey.” 

Willie Mays’ godson, retired Giants player, Barry Bonds, and Giants CEO and President, Larry Baer joined Mayor Breed at City Hall this week to accept the proclamation on Mays’ behalf. 


The full language of the Proclamation is copied below: 

WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco traditionally recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the vitality of our City, and the remarkable success of Willie Mays truly represents San Francisco values at their best; and  

WHEREAS, Willie Howard Mays Jr. was born in Westfield, Alabama, in 1931, smack into the Great Depression and the Jim Crow South; and  

WHEREAS, at age 17, he began his professional career at legendary Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama as a star center fielder with the Birmingham Black Barons, bringing pizazz and stunning athleticism to African-American communities who packed the ballpark for every game; and 

WHEREAS, as a rookie, in his first at-bat with the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in 1951, Mays hit a home run out of the ballpark and was named Rookie of the Year, a precursor to his future success earning MLB MVP two times; and 

WHEREAS, Mays served in the Korean War for most of the ‘52 season and all of ’53, missing 274 consecutive games in the major leagues and returned to baseball displaying his new trademark skill: the basket catch; and 

WHEREAS, in 1954 he made the most famous catch in history, setting the stage for the Giants’ first World Series championship in 21 years, earning Mays the 1954 Most Valuable Player Award; and 

WHEREAS, Mays played Major League baseball for 22 years, including 15 stellar seasons in San Francisco, now commemorated in a plaza for which he is the namesake and a world class statue outside of Oracle Park; and 

WHEREAS, Mays, in recognition of his prolific work and immeasurable contributions to baseball, the “Say Hey Kid” was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979, and his uniform number, 24, has been retired by the Giants, as he remains the franchise leader in games played, at 2,857 and at-bats, 10,477; and  

WHEREAS, Mays’ natural kinship with children, shown in his exuberance as a major-leaguer playing stickball with Harlem youth on 155th Street, will forever be part of his legacy, as will his Say Hey! Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club that bears his name in San Francisco’s Bayview District, and the Giants Community Fund’s Willie Mays Scholars; and 

WHEREAS, Willie Mays won 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, starred in 24 All-Star Games, and in 2015 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, inspiring people from every walk of life throughout the nation and globally with his incredible skills, steadfast determination, and love for baseball; now 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, London N. Breed, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, do hereby proclaim February 4, 2024 as…  

Willie Mays Day 

In San Francisco!