Willie Mays, arguably baseball’s best ever, is dead at 93

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Willie Mays, the electrifying and supremely gifted Major League Baseball player who many call the greatest of all time, has died. He was 93.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” Mays son, Michael Mays, said in a statement obtained by the New York Times. “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.”

No cause of death for the man who had been the oldest-living Hall of Famer was available at press time.

Mays dies on the eve of a grand celebration in his honor that MLB had planned that was going to pay homage to the Negro League legends in Birmingham, Ala., on June 20. The game between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, the latter for which Mays is practically synonymous, is going to be televised on Fox Sports at the historic Rickwood Field, home of the Birmingham Black Barons.

From Negro Leagues to 660 home runs in the majors

Mays was called the “Say Hey Kid” because of the unadulterated ebullience he exhibited on the baseball diamond throughout his historic career. He spent 23 seasons in the majors, batting .301 and hitting 660 home runs which was the third most all-time at the time of his retirement [behind the late legends Babe Ruth and Henry “Hank” Aaron.] Barry Bonds is now the official Home Run King.

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He also boasted 339 stolen bases and 3,293 hits. He won two NL MVP awards and was considered the best player in the National League an incredible nine times. Moreover, Mays was a 24-time All-Star who led the league in slugging percentage five times, stolen bases four times, and triples three times.

Renowned baseball writer Joe Posnanski said in his New York Times bestselling book, The Baseball 100, that Mays was the greatest MLB player of all time.

This story will be updated as details become available.

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