PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA (Diya TV) – Baseball has lost one of its greatest legends. At the age of 93, Willie Mays passed away in Palo Alto, California. The Say Hey Kid made a mark on the game of baseball and goes down as one of the most impactful players to ever play the sport.

Mays was born in Westfield, Alabama to Cat Mays, a talented baseball player himself, and Annie Satterwhite, a high school basketball and track star. They separated when Mays was three years old and he was subsequently raised by his father and two aunts. Cat allowed Willie to sit in with his Birmingham Industrial League team at 10, exposing him to baseball at a young age. 

Mays started his professional career in the Negro leagues, playing for the Birmingham Black Barons at just 16 years old. In 1951, he joined the New York Giants in the Major Leagues and quickly made an impact with his athleticism, hitting, and defensive chops.

Throughout his career, Mays achieved numerous accolades including, two National League MVP awards, 24 All-Star selections, 12 Gold Glove Awards, and 660 career home runs, which was third-most at the time of his retirement.

After the 1951 season, Mays was drafted by the United States Army to serve in the Korean War. He reported to Fort Eustis in Virginia, where he spent much of his time playing on military baseball teams with other major leaguers. Mays was discharged in 1954.

Mays is perhaps best remembered for “The Catch” during the 1954 World Series, where he made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch that became one of the most iconic moments in baseball history. 

After starting with the New York Giants, Mays continued his career when the franchise moved to San Francisco, and he later played for the New York Mets before retiring in 1973.

Beyond his statistics, Mays left an enduring legacy as a role model and ambassador for the sport, known for his integrity, work ethic, and love for the game. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 and was a beloved figure in both baseball and American culture.