Willie Mays celebrates 81st birthday at AT&T Park 

click to enlarge Still a kid: Willie Mays salutes the crowd after it sang “Happy Birthday” to the Hall of Famer at AT&T Park. - EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES
  • Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
  • Still a kid: Willie Mays salutes the crowd after it sang “Happy Birthday” to the Hall of Famer at AT&T Park.

Giants legend Willie Mays was at AT&T Park on Sunday to celebrate his 81st birthday.

The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to the Say Hey Kid in the middle of the second inning as broadcaster Jon Miller presented him with a cake in the broadcast booth.

Mays spends plenty of time around the team, including a trip to Arizona for spring training every year, something manager Bruce Bochy said has tremendous benefits.

“It’s amazing how much he follows us and knows what’s going on and the struggles of the players,” Bochy said. “He’ll suggest some things sometimes. He’s really into this club every year, every club that we have.”

He said Mays helps current Giants learn to make the game about more than themselves.

“When you look at Willie Mays, you see Giants baseball,” Bochy said. “The players learn to play with pride. They learn to play for the front of the uniform, the Giants, instead of the back of the uniform when they’re looking at Mays.”

The Hall of Famer was with the Giants when they moved from New York to San Francisco for the 1958 season and played here until being traded to the New York Mets in 1972.

— Ben Martin

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