A present for Willie Mays’ 93rd birthday

The greatest Giant – many say the best professional baseball player ever – Willie Mays turned 93 on May 6. Mays received perhaps the ultimate San Francisco tribute eight years ago when the City dedicated a cable car to him. (No prizes for guessing the number of the cable car.)

You can read all about that great 2016 dedication ceremony here, with photos and videos.

As Willie’s birthday approached this year, the cable car maintenance team, led by Arne Hansen, embellished Willie’s car, even beyond enhancements made last year.

A present for Willie Mays' 93rd birthday

The most conspicuous embellishment is the glove cradling the headlight, which has been striped like a baseball. A large version of the Giants’ logo has been attached to the roof above the gripman’s window.

Earlier updates include use of the Giants’ colors of orange, black, and their home uniform cream for trim and sign backgrounds and a custom pilot board (underneath the front of the car) with the Giants’ logo and artful striping by cable car painter Henry Pegueros.

After dark, Willie’s car is even more special, thanks to orange LED lighting installed by Pete Cunha under the running boards and the edges of the clerestory roof, providing a subtle glow.

You can ride Car 24 all week on the Powell-Hyde line. Come take a trip in honor of Willie Mays’ 93rd birthday.

(Major League Baseball pays tribute to Willie on June 20, with a regular season game between the Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, where Mays played in the Negro League as a 17-year old. That storied ballpark was built in 1912, and is being restored as a lasting monument to the Negro Leagues.)


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