Over the Shoulder and Plant on One: An Irishman’s Tribute to Willie Mays is the second in a trilogy of "Irishman’s Tributes" by Thomas Porky McDonald. In it, baseball during the Willie Mays' era is celebrated on factual, fictional, and emotional platforms. A starting line-up of Tallman Tales, McDonald’s unique short stories, use the three stages of Mays’ career as a backdrop for some heartfelt characters that may well have existed in New York in the early 1950’s and 1970’s and in San Francisco in the late 50s’ and through the 1960’s. Statistical comparisons of Mays’ career to his contemporaries and others in the history of baseball salute the all-time star who serves as a representative for the rash of talent that roamed in Major League ballparks during McDonald’s youth, which included the later stages of Number 24’s career. Interspersed within the tales and statistics is a small collection of McDonald’s trademark baseball poetry, pieces that will doubtless make you think, hopefully make you feel, and often entertain you.
In attempting to relay the feelings of joy and pride that he first knew as a baseball fan in the late 60’s and early 70’s, McDonald, as the "Irishman," deftly doffs his cap in obvious appreciation to those ballplayers he witnessed live, as well as those just before his time when there were three teams in New York, and Willie Mays was a young Giant in more ways than one.
Over the Shoulder and Plant on One: An Irishman’s Tribute to Willie Mays was preceded by An Irishman’s Tribute to the Negro Leagues, which took a breath and a sigh in the name of the men and women who participated in the old Negro Leagues. Hit Sign, Win Suit: An Irishman’s Tribute to Ebbets Field, is a future volume that will celebrate the days of Major League baseball in Brooklyn, which like the Negro Leagues and the days of Willie Mays, the player are long gone in a concrete sense, but not in a spiritual one.