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Willie Mays Collapses at Home Plate

Sept. 2, 1963 - Willie Mays, who collapsed at the plate at Candlestick Park today, is suffering from nervous exhaustion and fatigue but should bounce back within 24 to 48 hours. This was the verdict of Dr. E.C. Sailer, San Francisco team physician, who gave the Giant star a thorough clubhouse examination and then sent him home to rest under light sedation. Similar in many respects to what happened a year ago, when Willie keeled over in the dugout at Cincinnati and missed five games, he slumped to his knees in the fourth inning of today’s first game with the Chicago Cubs after smashing a right field foul with the bases loaded. Manager Alvin Dark said: “It was apparent he was hurting and couldn’t play.” Trainer Frank Bowman added: “Before he went up to the plate, he said he was blurry-eyed. I gave him a little medicatioin for an upset stomach. When I reached home plate, tears were in his eyes. He said he had no pain but had to force every move. It was evidently an aggravated case of fatigue. He complained of the same symptoms a year ago, but there was not the warning like this year.” Dr. Sailer said: “His blood pressure, heart, and temperature were all normal. He was tired and shaky. There was no dizziness. I didn’t find anything to indicate he could not play tomorrow or at least the day after. However, I’ll continue to observe his reactions after he rests. This man plays every game and plays it intensely. He’s under constant pressure. He gives 100% of himself. And coming off a series like that in Los Angeles, there’s bound to be some reaction. But he has tremendous stamina and reserve, and I’m sure he’ll bounce back.” Mays has “carried” the Giants for months, playing as sensationally as in any period since coming to the majors in 1951. He batted .322 in July and .387 in August. He leads the club in every batting department but home runs. The Cubs swept today’s doubleheader, 7-5 and 6-0, dropping the Giants 9½ games behind the league-leading Dodgers.


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