Jim Harbaugh visited Willie Mays: ‘Just went and knocked on the door’

Jim Harbaugh hired former 49ers executive Tom Gamble, according to a report
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Judge Judy isn’t the only celebrity or sports figure that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh admires. The Michigan head coach apparently has been anxious to spend some one-on-one time with MLB Hall of Famer, Willie Mays.

So how exactly did Harbaugh wind up at Mays’ kitchen table?

“Just went and knocked on the door, Harbaugh explained on KNBR 680. “Yep. And Willie’s wife was there and opened the door and said, ‘It’s the coach!’ Couldn’t have felt any better…”

Harbaugh told KNBR 680 that he has been enthralled with Mays and has brought up his name many times when he coached for the San Francisco 49ers. He and Mays spent short periods of time together when he visited the 49ers in practice a couple of times.

Harbaugh could hardly contain his excitement when he described his visit.

“Willie Mays, I would drive by his house every day to work when I was going to the 49ers. I Just wanted 10 minutes, I just wanted to stop by and spend 10 minutes with Willie. I got to spend an hour. It’s like dying and going to heaven. The Say Hey Kid. He’s the best.”

Thankfully, the Mays family has an open-door policy and doesn’t mind drop-in visitors. Otherwise, Harbaugh wouldn’t have made out with some awesome signed memorabilia that the 84-year old MLB legend gifted him.

Mays played centerfielder with the Giants from 1951 through 1972 with the exception of 1953 when he served in the military. He finished off the last two years of his illustrious career as a member of the New York Mets.

We can bet Harbaugh enjoyed every moment of his visit with such an amazing legend. Harbaugh’s cool story also makes us realize that simply pursuing what we want can work wonders when the timing is right.