Baseball legend Willie Mays died Tuesday at 93, the San Francisco Giants announced. Mays is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time and an icon of the sport. He spent 21 years with the Giants, starting in 1951 when they were in New York. He moved with the team to San Francisco in 1957 and settled in the Bay Area after he retired following a short stint back in New York with the Mets.

Mays made an immeasurable impact both on the field, where he hit 660 home runs (sixth-most in MLB history) and made one of the most iconic outfield catches of all time in the 1954 World Series. 

He captivated fans, peers, future generations and even rival broadcasters such as late Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers icon Vin Scully, who proudly called Mays the best baseball player he ever saw.

Mays’ passing comes two days before a special MLB game between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, where Mays first played professional baseball as a member of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons. His passing was announced to a crowd at a minor league game being played at Rickwood Field, who gave a standing ovation in Mays’ honor.

Below are more tributes from Major League Baseball, Mays’ former teams, fellow MLB stars and others who were impacted by the “Say Hey Kid.”

San Francisco Giants

Giants broadcaster Jon Miller also paid tribute to Mays after announcing the news.

New York Mets, MLB and Commissioner Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball’s statement of Mays’ death noted that in honor to his iconic catch, the World Series MVP award was renamed after him in 2017.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement from Rickwood Field, where he is present for Thursday’s game.

“All of Major League Baseball is in mourning today as we are gathered at the very ballpark where a carer and legacy like no other began,” Manfred said. “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.”

Mets owner Steve Cohen, who retired Mays’ number in 2022 to fulfill a promise made by former owner Joan Payson when she recruited Mays back to New York in 1972, released a statement on Mays’ death.

“Willie Mays was one of the greatest to ever play the game,” Cohen said. “Willie ended his Hall of Fame career in Queens and was a key piece to the 1973 NL championship team. Mays played with a style and grace like no one else. Alex and I were thrilled to honor a previous promise from Joan Payson to retire his iconic #24 as a member of the Mets in 2022. On behalf of our entire organization, we send our thoughts and prayers to Willie’s family and friends.”

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds, Mays’ godson and son of Mays’ former teammate Bobby Bonds before becoming a Giants superstar in his own right, said in an Instagram post that he was “beyond devastated and overcome with emotion” at the death of his godfather.

“I have no words to describe what you mean to me – you helped shape me to be who I am today,” Bonds wrote.” Thank you for being my Godfather and always being there. Give my dad a hug for me. 

“Rest in peace Willie, I love you forever.”

Derek Jeter

MLB on FOX analyst and Mays’ fellow Hall of Famer Derek Jeter posted a tribute to Mays on Tuesday evening, calling him “One of the best to ever play the game and even a better person.”

Former President Barack Obama

Mays was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015.

“Willie Mays wasn’t just a singular athlete, blessed with an unmatched combination of grace, skill and power,” Obama said in a statement Tuesday. “He was also a wonderfully warm and generous person – and an inspiration to an entire generation.”

Former MLB, sports stars salute a legend

2007 AL Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia and 2008 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas were among those who paid tribute to Mays and shared their memories of him on social media Tuesday.

NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson also mourned Mays.

Willie Mays’ biographer says goodbye

Longtime Giants reporter John Shea, whose book “24” is regarded as a definitive account of Mays’ life, saluted his friend on social media Tuesday.

Other baseball insiders, organizations, luminaries and fans paid their respects as well.

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