Willie Mays Passes Away Aged 93, Tributes Pour In For MLB & Negro League Icon 

Willie Mays

Legendary Hall of Famer, and Negro League icon Willie Mays, passed away peacefull in his sleep at the age of 93. 

Legendary Hall of Famer, and Negro League icon Willie Mays, has passed away at the age of 93. 

The baseball icon beloved by fans, considered one of the sports’ greatest players and the first African American team captain in MLB history, died peacefully on Tuesday afternoon (June 18).  

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” his son Michael Mays said, per San Francisco Chronicle. “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.” 

The MLB mourned his passing with a tribute post to the “24-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glover, 2-time MVP, World Series champion, Hall of Famer.” 

The legendary slugger, nicknamed “The Say Hey Kid,” for the enthusiasm with which he greeted teammates, began his career in the Negro Leagues. He played with the Black Barons, helping them reach the final Negro Leagues World Series in 1948. 

Mays experienced a culture shock after joining the Giants three years after Jackie Robinson broke the sports’ color barrier. The pioneer spent 21 years with the Giants and is forever immortalized in a 9-foot-tall bronze statue in front of San Francisco’s Oracle Park at 24 Willie Mays Plaza. 

The Giants Mourn Willie Mays

“Today we have lost a true legend,” Giants chairman Greg Johnson said. “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.” 

Mays was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015. “It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for president,” Obama said at the ceremony.  

Following his passing, Obama and others paid tribute to the pioneer.