Willie Mays Love Letter to Gladys Cofield is a Must-Read

Once upon a time in the 1950s, Willie Mays had a beauty queen for a girlfriend.  Willie loved the young lady, Miss Gladys Cofield, very much.  As the Say Hey Kid traveled the country playing ball, he would receive letters and pictures from his love interest.  Occasionally, Mays would respond with a letter of his own.  It would appear Willie had a bit of a tough time with the writing part of it, so that is probably why he rarely wrote Cofield.  Oh yeah, and he was kind of lacking in the game department too.  Check out Willie Mays’ love letter to Gladys Cofield, courtesy of Deadspin.  Click the image to enlarge the original letter.  Check below the original letter for Deadspin’s transcript of it.



Willie Mays
New York Giants
Polo Grounds N.Y.

Hello Baby,

I sorry I haven’t wrote for a while. Gee the picture was a fine one. I like it very much. I think your love is the really thing now. But at first I did think you could love me after the way you did me the first time I saw u.

All the boys saw the sweet picture & gee all like it just as much as I did. I think we would have a really good time when I come there if you just be good to me. I think you know the date we be there. [Illegible] you don’t know it May (6.)

I know you think I don’t love you because I don’t write much. You see I don’t like to write much so it take me a little while to ans. (Smile)

I wont you to sent me you phone # because it was on the picture & left it a home. I going to call you the day I get there. We might get there on the 5.

I know this is not much but you can ans this letter.

With All My Love
To Gladys

Willie Mays


Instant classic? I’d say so.

Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I really really hope that he didn’t write that. Kinda sad if he did.

  • Anonymous

    That is REALLY SMALL AND TOTALLY CLASSLESS to publish this- Willy Mays is one of the greatest players (and, arguably, THE greatest player) to EVER play the game- WHAT is the point of possibly embarassing and/or humiliating this man with something that has NOTHING to do with baseball, and is NO ONE’S business but HIS??? Apparently, he didn’t have much of an education- gee, what a surprise THAT is, huh? How many black kids even had a CHANCE at one, in that shameful, disgraceful period in the history of this country? And you’re going to attempt to make FUN of the man for this? TOTALLY CLASSLESS…  While I don’t believe that this is a DELIBERATE attempt to be racist, think about it- that’s EXACTLY what it IS, and IT IS ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS!! Anyone who contributed in any way to making this public should be ashamed of themselves! (And, if it should matter to anyone, I happen to be white)

  • Anonymous

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you making the assumption that Mays (if this is indeed a letter he wrote) had trouble writing because he is black? Who’s being racist again?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you are wrong. What i’m saying is that Mr. Mays may have had trouble writing the letter (if he did, in fact write the letter- ? i’ll get back to this) because there is a very good chance that he probably didn’t have access to a good education, because that good education was not AVAILABLE to many people of color at the time that Mr. Mays was a child of school-age. And THAT was because black people (and pretty much everyone else of color) were considered inferior by the majority of the white population at that time, and whites were the people who ran this country. Therefore, little to no attention was paid by the powers that be to the conditions in which almost all blacks were forced to live. I’m ASSUMING that you DID have access to a relatively good education; therefore, if you can’t follow this train of logic, then your cognitive skills are sorely lacking, and maybe YOU should have paid more attention in school- because I don’t really know how much more plainly I can put it. He is not a poor writer because he is black; he is a poor writer because a decent education was probably denied to him- and that WAS INDEED because he was black! Nice try on the spin, though… And one MORE thing, while we’re on the subject- what do you mean, “if this is indeed a letter he wrote”?!? You ARE a professional reporter, are you not? Why on EARTH would you submit a story for publication without being able to verify the FACTS of that story? You are telling me that we are arguing here about a story that YOU WROTE AND SUBMITTED FOR PUBLICATION that may not even be TRUE??? That’s some VERY sloppy, amateurish work, my friend! My father, Ed Schneider, was a sportswriter and editor over a twenty-odd year career for The Chicago Tribune, and The Chicago American/Today; additionally, he was one of the founders, and the first secretary-treasurer, of the United States Basketball Writers Association of America. I have more than a little familiarity with what you do for a living. And, anyone with even a semester’s worth of Journalism under his or her belt KNOWS that you MUST VERIFY YOUR FACTS!!! I could’ve written that same story you did, for all that I know about it- because I have NO knowledge about whether or not that letter is authentic- and, apparently, neither do you! Journalists have the public’s trust; therefore they MUST VERIFY FACTS! You owe this to the public, to your publisher, and to YOURSELF, if you have any integrity, any ethics, any respect for your profession… I DO believe that you, and anyone else involved with this “allegedly-written-by” non-story, owe a big apology to Mr. Mays. And lastly, Mr. Brown, thank you for allowing me to express my opinion here- I DO SINCERELY appreciate that opportunity!        -Sincerely, Jim Schneider

  • Anonymous

     Mr. Brown- How embarrassing! I see that I also owe YOU an apology! I am new to the Internet, and I mistakenly thought that the comment posted by Steve DelVecchio above, was YOUR response to my comment. (I’m still trying to figure out how all of this works, and my ignorance of the ‘net caused this mistake- which makes ME a DOPE!) That is why my most recent comment seems to be aimed at You- because, it WAS! While I still stand by my words, I hope it’s obvious enough which parts of my rant were directed, or rather, SHOULD have been directed to you, and which parts should have been directed to Mr. DelVecchio- in any event, my sincere apologies to both of you! Rest assured, I WILL figure out how all of this works sooner or later, but in the meantime… DUUUH!! -Jim Sch.

  • Anonymous

    …Once again, I see that ANOTHER apology is in order! Mr. DelVecchio- I COMPLETELY missed your byline at the top of the story! So, one more time for me- DUUUH! Okay now, let me see… if I have this figured out yet (and THAT’S far from a given), YOU wrote the story, and Mr. Brown is the… publisher? All right- if THIS is correct, then that WHOLE rant SHOULD HAVE been directed to YOU, right? So, once again, i’m sorry- please consider the rant duly directed to you! And, thank YOU for allowing me to voice my opinion here! Now, if you’ll excuse me, i’m going to go lie (-lay? I can never remember which is correct!) down, ’cause I’m feeling VERY dizzy…    -J.S.  (…hmmm, does Willy Mays owe anybody an apology here? no, THAT can’t be right, right? No, no… so, let’s see, then…)    :-S