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Bonds' No. 1 Fan / Mays arrives to cheer on his godson

Anaheim, Calif. - When Barry Bonds went deep in his first

World Series at-bat, his godfather was not in Edison Field to see it.

Willie Mays watched Game 1 on television Saturday night in Las Vegas, so

last night's Game 2 marked the first time that Mays would get to see his godson

play a Fall Classic contest in person.

As he sported his ring from the New York Giants' 1954 World Series title,

baseball's No. 3 all-time home run hitter spoke glowingly of Bonds, baseball's

No. 4 all-time home run hitter.

"He wants to do what I did," Mays said at Edison Field. "... As long as he

made the World Series. He came close quite a few times, but he never got into

one. I think even if we don't win, I think he'll be happy. Hopefully, we can

win."

Mays flew from Las Vegas to Southern California yesterday, and he said he

intends to be at the rest of the Series games. He was in a friendly, playful

mood yesterday, holding court with two waves of reporters as he stood outside

the Giants' clubhouse.

He challenged a reporter who asked him whether Bonds might be the greatest

player ever, accusing the inquisitor of being negative, then he and the

reporter engaged in playful trash talk.

He checked out the many reporters' identification badges, each sporting a

photo, and joked that he didn't have one.

Of Bonds' homer, Mays said: "He seemed to be surprised when he hit the

ball. If you noticed, the second time he came up, he was a little nervous. He

swung at a ball over his head [for a strikeout]. That's not how he plays."

Overall, Mays noted, Bonds has played very well in the postseason. The

World Series homer, Mays said, was "icing on the cake."

Though it's not always clear that the godson is having fun in his first

Fall Classic, the godfather is having fun watching Bonds.

"This goes a little deeper for me, to have him start smiling again,

enjoying baseball," Mays said. "He's just beginning to realize it's a game.

He's understanding that more than he did five to 10 years ago."

New York Sports