Baseball Legend Willie Mays Passes Away At 93
Hall of Famer Willie Mays waves to the crowd during the pre-game celebration in honor of his 90th birthday prior to the game between the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on Friday, May 7, 2021 in San Francisco, California.
Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Baseball legend Willie Mays passed away on Tuesday afternoon, according to the San Francisco Giants. He was 93 years old.

“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,” the team said in a statement.

ESPN said that Mays had an “unmatched collection of skills” that made him “the greatest center fielder who ever lived.”

Mays made 24 All-Star teams during his Major League Baseball career — which spanned from 1951 – 1973 — and finished 6th in all-time home runs (660), 7th in runs scored (2,068), 12th in RBIs (1,909), and 13th in hits (3,293), ESPN reported.

Mays was born on May 6, 1931, in Alabama where he excelled at all the major sports early in life. He began his professional baseball career at only 17 years old when he joined the Birmingham Black Barons while he was still in high school. At 20, he became only the 10th black player in the league’s history.

He briefly had his career interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in the Korean War in 1952. He returned to the Giants in 1954.

Willie Mays’ son, Michael Mays, said in a statement: “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.”

“Today we have lost a true legend,” said Giants Chairman Greg Johnson 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 added. “He was an inspiration and a hero who will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

Giants president and chief executive officer Larry Baer said that he fell in love with baseball because of Mays.

“My childhood was defined by going to Candlestick with my dad, watching Willie patrol centerfield with grace and the ultimate athleticism,” he said. “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.”

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