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Willie Mays is dead

On Tuesday night the Mays family and Major League Baseball issued a joint statement on the passing of baseball hall of famer Willie Mays. He was 93 years old.

Mays was born on May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama.

He along with Babe Ruth are considered the best all-around baseball players to have ever lived.

Mays was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Mays was unusual in that he hit for average, for power, and in his prime was probably the best centerfielder in the game.

The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame wrote of Mays: "The "Say Hey Kid" was a great athlete at Fairfield Industrial High and later starred for the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro American League. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1951, MLB Player of the Year in 1954, and MVP of the National League in 1954 and 1965. Playing organized baseball for 24 years, he played in 24 All-Star Games and four World Series. Sporting News named him Baseball Player of the Decade (1960-1969). He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. He is fifth in all-time career home runs list."

Mays had planned to come to Birmingham in the memorial Negro League game. Mays got his start in professional baseball as a teenager, playing alongside his dad for the Birmingham Black Barons. Rickwood Field in Birmingham is the oldest professional baseball field still in existence.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) said of Mays on X, "My heartfelt condolences go out to Willie Mays' family and loved ones. A Fairfield native, his remarkable talent and contagious spirit reshaped baseball. His legacy as a trailblazer for African American athletes will continue to inspire generations. Truly, an Alabama legend."

At the time of his death, Mays was the oldest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame stil alive.

 

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