Will town say 'yea' to Willie Mays Way?
With the backing of most residents of the street, a local Little League leader wants the town of Atherton to rename Mount Vernon Lane to Willie Mays Way, after one of the street's most famous residents.
Sean Barstad, president of Highlanders Little League in Redwood City and a friend of the Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, spoke to the City Council on Jan. 18, advocating the name change to honor a man who is "a great asset to the town" and an advocate for the youth community.
Mr. Barstad told the council that he met Mr. Mays several years ago, when he asked the former San Francisco Giants star to throw the first pitch of the Little League season. "He said no one had ever asked him to throw the first pitch before," Mr. Barstad said.
He cited Mr. Mays' community involvement, including the establishment of a foundation for underprivileged youth, and his work with the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Mr. Barstad said he's been working on the street-renaming effort for some time, and when Jerry Gruber was Atherton's city manager, the project was moving forward. But when Mr. Gruber resigned, the effort was sidelined.
Now, he said, he's working with Theresa DellaSanta, the town's new interim city manager, to put the matter on the council's February agenda.
Meanwhile, Mr. Barstad has gone door to door on the street, speaking with residents of nine of the 14 households, adding that he's not even bothering the homeowner of one of the residences — Mr. Mays himself. No one has said "no," he said.
According to Mr. Barstad, the 80-year-old baseball star also known as "The Say Hey Kid" has lived on Mount Vernon for more than 40 years.