Instead of Mr. Mays, who turned 90 on Thursday, Ms. Pelosi posted a photo of herself posing in 2018 with Willie McCovey, then switched it out with a photo of Mr. Mays after being called out on social media, blaming a staffer for the error.
“A staffer inadvertently selected the wrong photo for the tweet,” Ms. Pelosi’s office told KCBS AM/FM in a statement. “The photo we wanted to use was of the Speaker and Willie Mays at Willie McCovey’s August 2018 wedding. The quickly deleted photo was the wrong photo from the right wedding. We apologize for the error.”
The apology failed to stop the social-media peanut gallery from booing Ms. Pelosi, a longtime San Francisco resident.
Critics pointed out that both Mr. Mays and Mr. McCovey played the bulk of their Baseball Hall of Fame careers with the San Francisco Giants, arguing that any Bay Area baseball fan should have been able to tell them apart.
“Anyone who knows what Willie Mays looks like knows that’s not him with Pelosi. I spent a lot of time playing baseball as a kid with my brothers, and Willie Mays was one of my heroes growing up. He really is a hero to lots of Americans and is incredibly well known. Except not to Nancy Pelosi, apparently,” said RedState’s Nick Arama.
“Nancy Pelosi shares photo of wrong black baseball player in attempt to honor Willie Mays,” tweeted Human Events managing editor Ian Miles Cheong.
Said former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer: “Madam Speaker, that’s not Willie Mays.” Snopes rated the claim “true.”
Willie Go Round in Circles@SpeakerPelosi congratulates Willie Mays on his 90th birthday but tweets a picture of deceased Willie McCovey. Deletes, then tweets the correct Willie, blames staffer.— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) May 8, 2021
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