Willie Mays: Baseball Legend Dies At 93 Years Of Age


Willie Mays: Baseball Legend Dies At 93 Years Of Age

Willie Mays, widely regarded as the greatest Giant ever and one of the finest baseball players in history, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 93.

This week, many in the baseball community have been reflecting on Mays’ incredible legacy. Thursday’s MLB game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, between the Giants and Cardinals, was intended as a celebration of Mays’ illustrious career, which began with the Birmingham Black Barons, and to honor the legacy of the Negro Leagues.


“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. “Willie Mays took his all-around brilliance from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League to the historic Giants franchise. From coast to coast in New York and San Francisco, Willie inspired generations of players and fans as the game grew and truly earned its place as our National Pastime.”

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” Michael Mays said in a statement released by the Giants. “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.”


Willie Mays was renowned for his all-around excellence in baseball. He ranks sixth all-time with 660 home runs and earned 12 Gold Glove Awards for his outstanding defense in center field, a position he helped glamorize in the 1950s alongside Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider of the New York clubs. In 1969, Mays became the first player to hit over 300 home runs and steal over 300 bases, showcasing his extraordinary blend of power and speed.

“Today we have lost a true legend,” Giants chairman Greg Johnson said in a statement. “In the pantheon of baseball greats, Willie Mays’ combination of tremendous talent, keen intellect, showmanship, and boundless joy set him apart. A 24-time All-Star, the Say Hey Kid is the ultimate Forever Giant. He had a profound influence not only on the game of baseball, but on the fabric of America. He was an inspiration and a hero who will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

“I fell in love with baseball because of Willie, plain and simple,” Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said. “My childhood was defined by going to Candlestick with my dad, watching Willie patrol center field with grace and the ultimate athleticism. Over the past 30 years, working with Willie, and seeing firsthand his zest for life and unbridled passion for giving to young players and kids, has been one of the joys of my life.”


At the time of his passing, Mays was the oldest living Hall of Famer, a title he assumed on January 7, 2021, following the death of Tommy Lasorda. The distinction now passes to 90-year-old shortstop Luis Aparicio.

As a prodigious hitter, Mays surpassed 50 home runs in 1955 and 1965, hit four home runs in a single game in Milwaukee on April 30, 1961, and maintained a lifetime batting average of .301. However, his most iconic moment may be the over-the-shoulder catch he made during the 1954 World Series opener at New York’s Polo Grounds, robbing Cleveland’s Vic Wertz of a potential game-winning hit.


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