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Baseball legend Willie Mays has died at 93

Willie Mays, the longtime San Francisco Giants center fielder and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 93.
Obit Willie Mays Baseball
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 18, 2024

Willie Mays, the longtime San Francisco Giants center fielder and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 93.

Mays died peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, the Giants said in an official message.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” Mays' son Michael said in a statement. “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, the "Say Hey Kid," was a 24-time All-Star and is considered one of the greatest players in baseball. He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1979.

Mays began league play in 1948, joining the Birmingham Black Barons as part of the Negro American League. He began playing for the then-New York Giants in 1951 and moved with the team to San Francisco. He played center field there until 1972, when he was traded to the New York Mets and played for one more year.

"From coast to coast ... Willie inspired generations of players and fans as the game grew and truly earned its place as our National Pastime. ... We will never forget this true Giant on and off the field," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mays' power with the bat, speed on the basepaths and prowess in center field were all celebrated. But he is perhaps best know for "The Catch," during the tied 8th inning of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series against Cleveland.

Mays, running deeper into the outfield, caught a long fly ball over his shoulder to record an out against Cleveland’s Vic Wertz — and then threw the ball back to the infield quickly enough to prevent runners on first and second base from scoring.

"The Catch" is credited with helping the Giants go on to sweep Cleveland in four games and win the World Series that year. It would be the only time Mays won the championship.