SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It almost didn't matter what Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry had to say Tuesday morning to Giants players. Just being in the same room with the trio of Hall of Famers and franchise legends was enough of a thrill for the ballclub.
Of course, Mays, Cepeda and Perry gave the Giants more than just their presence. They dispensed advice, provided observations and reminded the reigning World Series champions that every other opponent likely will play just a little harder against them in 2013 -- "that we have a bulls-eye on our backs," right-hander George Kontos said.
Traded from the Yankees to the Giants at the start of last season, Kontos previously spent time alongside all-time greats such as Yogi Berra, Goose Gossage and Ron Guidry. But being around the best who ever played never gets old and remains valuable.
"We're very privileged to have those guys speak to us and give us a little bit of their take about the game and when they played," Kontos said. "They're in the Hall of Fame for a reason. They're great at what they did and they have tons of knowledge. Not many other teams get the opportunity to have guys like this come."
Right-hander Chris Heston, a first-time participant in big league camp, sounded attentive and appreciative.
"Those guys, especially Willie Mays, laid the foundation for the Giants," Heston said. "To get their feedback on what they thought about the game and how they went about it is beneficial for anybody. Any little advice they can give you is huge."
Mays is a frequent clubhouse visitor during Spring Training and the regular season. But though none of the current Giants players is old enough to have seen him perform, the mere sight of him gives them a thrill.
"It's something that a lot of people would kill for," Heston said.