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Willie Mays Dead At 93, Baseball Legend Passes Away

Willie Mays Dead At 93, Baseball Legend Passes Away

Willie Mays, Baseball Hall of Fame legend has died at the age of 93. Mays, nicknamed the “Say Hey Kid” was one of the world’s greatest baseball players and got his start in the Negro Leagues.

His former team, the San Francisco Giants, announced his passing today on X, on behalf of Mays’ family: “It is with great sadness that we announce that San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie Mays passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 93.”

In a separate statement, Michael Mays, Willie Mays’ son wrote: “My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones. 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.”

Giants Chairman Greg Johnson issued this statement: “Today we have lost a true legend” Johnson’s statement read. “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,” Johnson’s statement continued. “He was an inspiration and a hero who will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”
Also on Tuesday, Major League Baseball shared this message on X: “We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Willie Mays, one of the most exciting all-around players in the history of our sport.”

Willie Mays Dead At 93, Baseball Legend Passes Away

Willie Mays Dead at Age 93

Mays began his career while still a teenager, with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues. He won rookie of the year honors with the San Francisco Giants in 1951 and made 24 All-Star Game appearances, including in his last season. Mays was renowned for his all-around athleticism, “excelling at the five basic skills of baseball: throwing, fielding, power-hitting, hitting for average, and base running.”

According to ABC News, Willie Howard Mays Jr. was born in Westfield, Alabama, on May 6, 1931. The New York Giants signed Mays after his high school graduation after spending two years in the Negro Leagues.

The gifted athlete was named Rookie of the Year his first season, was named the National League MVP twice (1954 and 1965) and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Willie Mays Played in the Negro Leagues

Mays retired after 22 seasons with 660 home runs, the third-highest of all-time when he retired in 1973. His lifetime batting average was .301 and he left the game with 2,062 runs scored, 1,323 extra-base hits, 6,066 total bases and 136.6 offensive wins above replacement.

Mays told the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001: “The Hall of Fame is something that you play baseball for. You start off playing and you say to yourself, ‘if you get to the Hall of Fame you got good numbers.’ … To me, to be a part of the Hall of Fame and be a part of all the guys that come through it, it’s tremendous.”

Former New York Giant Willie Mays Retired in 1973

Mays was one of MLB’s greatest defensive outfielders – will always be remembered for one of baseball’s greatest catches, known simply as ‘The Catch.’ It happened in the 8th inning against the Cleveland Indians in game one of the 1954 World Series: “Mays made a running, over-the-shoulder basket catch on a deep fly ball hammered by Cleveland’s Vic Wertz into the New York City Polo Grounds’ immense center field.”

Mays’ heroics allowed the Giants to win in extra innings but he remained humble about he feat: “When Vic hit the ball to center field, I never was worried about catching the ball” he told MLB Network in 2010. “I was worried about getting the ball back into the infield. And I’m saying to myself, ‘I gotta get this ball back in the infield or Larry [Doby]’s gonna score. As the ball was coming down, I knew I had the ball.”

From 1957 to 1968 Mays won 12 consecutive Gold Glove awards for exceptional fielding. He remained in the top five in career home runs until 2020.

Willie Mays’ Career Interrupted by the Korean War

Mays was drafted into the Army in 1951, during the Korean War, and missed most of the 1952 season and all of the 1953 season due to military service.

In 2015 President Barack Obama awarded Mays the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2017 MLB renamed the World Series MVP Award as the Willie Mays World Series MVP Award.

Mays was married twice, the second time in 1971 to wife May Louise Mays who died in 2013.

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Editorial credit: Christopher Wehling /

Editorial credit: Marcus E Jones /

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