NEW YORK -- Giants fans attending Friday night's series opener against Colorado will receive an extra treat as legendary center fielder Willie Mays' 80th birthday will be celebrated in pregame festivities. Several of Mays' former teammates will be on hand, including Rev. William Greason and Jimmy Zapp of the Birmingham Black Barons, the Negro League team Mays played for in 1948 before signing with the then-New York Giants. Youths from the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club in Hunters Point also will be present. Video tributes to Mays from a variety of celebrities will be shown throughout the game. A party hat will be placed atop the statue of Mays in the plaza named for him outside the main entrance to AT&T Park. The first 20,000 fans also will receive party hats, as well as replicas of the statue.
The AT&T Park gates will open at 5 p.m. PT to accommodate what's expected to be an early crush of fans. They'll again open two hours and 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch for the remaining two games of the series -- 3:50 p.m. on Saturday and 10:50 a.m. on Sunday.