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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Sports world reacts to death of Willie Mays

Willie Mays smiling while wearing a Giants jacket and cap

October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants former center fielder Willie Mays waves to the crowd while riding in a car during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball fans and players came together on Tuesday to mourn the death and celebrate the life of MLB icon Willie Mays.

Mays died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 93. The San Francisco Giants announced the news via a post on X.

Mays received an outpouring of tributes from various sports icons shortly after news of his death went public.

Former MLB stars like Derek Jeter, Jose Canseco, CC Sabathia, and Frank Thomas paid homage to Mays on social media.

Several MLB teams were still playing when Mays’ death was announced. A few broadcasts were able to honor Mays while on air.

Longtime Giants announcer Jon Miller took a moment to break the news to viewers. Former MVP-turned-Mets-broadcaster Keith Hernandez, who entered the majors a year after Mays retired, shared a heartfelt moment he once had with the “Say Hey Kid.”

Mays also received love from some other notable figures.

Mays’ list of accolades stacks up with any player in MLB history. Mays earned 24 All-Star nods and won 2 NL MVP awards throughout his career spanning over two decades. He led the league in home runs 4 times and also won the batting title in 1954 during his first MVP season.

Mays spent most of his career with the Giants franchise, playing for the organization from 1951 to 1972. Mays started his MLB journey in New York before the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Mays was traded to the New York Mets midway through the 1972 season. He retired after the 1973 campaign at the age of 42. Both the Giants and Mets have retired Mays’ jersey.

Before being called up to the majors, Mays began his career playing for the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues.

Mays was supposed to make an appearance at a tribute game Thursday between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. The event was organized to honor Mays and the Negro Leagues. The Alabama native announced on Monday — a day before his death — that he was instead planning to enjoy the game from his San Francisco home.

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