MLB star Willie Mays dead at 93 as tributes pour in for oldest living Hall of Famer & San Francisco Giants legend

MLB star Willie Mays dead at 93 as tributes pour in for oldest living Hall of Famer & San Francisco Giants legend

THE baseball world is in mourning after it was announced that Hall of Famer Willie Mays has died.

News of Mays’ death at age 93 was first reported on Tuesday evening.

GettyWillie Mays’ death was announced on Tuesday[/caption]

GettyMays was the oldest living Hall of Famer[/caption]

GettyThe star center fielder was a 24-time All-Star[/caption]

The San Francisco Giants, where he spent much of his MLB career, announced the news in a tweet.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” Mays’ son Michael told the Giants, via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press.

“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart for the unwavering love you have shown him over the years. You have been his life’s blood.”

Mays was the oldest living baseball Hall of Famer.

His cause of death has not been made public.

The news hit the baseball world hard, with a flood of tributes pouring in on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“All of Major League Baseball is in mourning today as we are gathered at the very ballpark where a career and a legacy like no other began,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Manfred went on to call Mays a “true Giant on and off the field.”

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Willie’s family, his friends across our game, Giants fans everywhere, and his countless admirers across the world.

“Thursday’s game at historic Rickwood Field was designed to be a celebration of Willie Mays and his peers.

“With sadness in our hearts, it will now also serve as a national remembrance of an American who will forever remain on the short list of the most impactful individuals our great game has ever known.”

Sporting icon and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson also took to X to share his condolences.

“I’m devastated to hear about the passing of the legendary Hall of Famer Willie Mays, one of the main reasons I fell in love with baseball,” he wrote.

“Cookie and I are praying for his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.”

While New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alex also released a statement commemorating one of their franchise’s all-time greats.

“Willie Mays was one of the greatest to ever play the game,” they said.

“Willie ended his Hall of Fame career in Queens and was a key piece to the 1973 NL championship team.

“Mays played with a style and grace like no one else.

“Alex and I were thrilled to honor a previous promise from Joan Payson to retire his iconic #24 as a member of the Mets in 2022.

“On behalf of our entire organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to Willie’s family and friends.”

GettyMays spent the majority of his career with the New York/San Francisco Giants[/caption]

News of Mays’ passing came a day after it was announced that he would not be attending Thursday’s game between the Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at the historic Rickwood Field.

The game will be played at the 114-year-old venue to honor the Negro League, as per ESPN.

“I’m not able to get to Birmingham this year but will follow the game back here in the Bay Area,” Mays revealed in a statement.

“My heart will be with all of you who are honoring the Negro League ballplayers, who should always be remembered, including all my teammates on the Black Barons.

“I wanted to thank Major League Baseball, the Giants, the Cardinals and all the fans who’ll be at Rickwood or watching the game.

“It’ll be a special day, and I hope the kids will enjoy it and be inspired by it.”

Mays began his professional career in 1948 with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League.

Following a brief spell in the minor leagues, “The Say Hey Kid” made his MLB debut for the then-New York Giants in 1951.

He went on to serve in the US Army, missing much of the 1952 season, and all of 1953 before returning.

Mays subsequently played 20 straight seasons, following the Giants as they moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Traded to the Mets during the 1972 season, he finished his MLB career in the city where it all began, retiring after their World Series loss to the Oakland Athletics.

A 24-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glove Award winner, two-time National League MVP, and 1954 World Series Champion, Mays went down in the history books as one of the all-time greats of the sport.

Mays retired having made 3,005 appearances as a professional, racking up 2,068 runs, 3,293 hits, and 660 home runs.

GettyMays’ was a 12-time Gold Glove Award winner[/caption]

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