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American baseball legend Willie Mays goes home at 93

The tributes are pouring following the announcement of the passing of American baseball legend, Willie Mays, on Tuesday. He was 93.

The San Francisco Giants, where Mays spent most of his career, obsessed a moment of silence in-game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

According to Africanews, Fans at Mays’ hometown ballpark, Rickwood Field, also saluted the Alabama native with a standing ovation and applause.

Mays’ family and the San Francisco Giants jointly announced Tuesday night he had died earlier in the afternoon.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” son Michael Mays said in a statement released by the club. “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 centre fielder was baseball’s oldest living Hall of Famer. His signature basket catch and his dashes around the bases with his cap flying off personified the joy of the game. His over-the-shoulder catch of a long drive in the 1954 World Series is baseball’s most celebrated defensive feat.

Mays died two days before a game between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals to honour the Negro Leagues at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

“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. “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. … We will never forget this true Giant on and off the field.”

Few were so blessed with each of the five essential qualities of a superstar – hitting for average, hitting for power, speed, fielding and throwing. Fewer so joyously exerted those qualities – whether launching home runs; dashing around the bases, loose-fitting cap flying off his head, or chasing down fly balls in centre field and finishing the job with his trademark basket catch.

Willie Mays, the electrifying “Say Hey Kid” whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest and most beloved players, has died. He was 93.

Mays’ family and the San Francisco Giants jointly announced Tuesday night he had “passed away peacefully” Tuesday afternoon surrounded by loved ones.

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One of baseball’s greatest players, the Hall of Fame centre fielder starred for the Giants in New York from 1951-57 and then in San Francisco from 1958-72 after the club moved to the West Coast.

He returned to the Big Apple in a May 1972 trade and spent his final two seasons with the Mets, helping them reach the 1973 World Series.

A 24-time All-Star, Mays was a two-time NL MVP and won 12 Gold Gloves. When he retired, he ranked third in homers, runs and total bases, seventh in hits and RBIs, and first in putouts by an outfielder. He was the first player in major league history with 300 or more homers and 300 or more stolen bases.

Mays played 135 games with the Mets and hit his final 14 home runs for the team

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Paschal Abu
Paschal Abu
Pascal Abu is a Blogger with finesse and experience in the entertainment industry.

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