Willie Mays Is No Surfing Madonna

Willie Mays may be forever enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but as the new face of Encinitas’ “Save the Ocean” campaign, he didn’t last long.

An unknown artist recently spray-painted the baseball legend’s face on the same Encinitas wall that once hosted the Surfing Madonna, a popular mosaic that attracted controversy when a Leucadia man mysteriously placed it on public property in April.

The Surfing Madonna read “Save the Ocean” in vertical blue tiles, and Mays carried the same message — “’Say Hey’ve the Ocean,” a play-on-words of May’s nickname, “The Say Hey Kid” — before a city worker painted over it Monday morning.

Say Hey, good-bye.

The Surfing Madonna lasted longer than her San Francisco Giants counterpart, much in part due to the beach community’s embracement. Locals and visitors considered the mosaic a landmark on an otherwise forgettable underpass wall near the corner of Vulcan Avenue and Encinitas Boulevard.

Since it was placed on public property without city permission, the mosaic was removed last week.
Mark Patterson, its owner, was forced to pay more than $2600 in various fees to the city.

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