Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Remembering Willie Mays: Reactions From the Sports World and Beyond
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 weeks ago on
June 19, 2024

Fans stand for a moment of silence for the legendary Willie Mays during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP/Nam Y. Huh)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The sports world and beyond have reacted to the death of baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Mays passed away on Tuesday at the age of 93, as announced by his family and the San Francisco Giants. Mays’ unique blend of talent, determination, and enthusiasm made him one of the greatest and most cherished players in baseball.

Expressions of Grief and Admiration

“I am beyond devastated and overcome with emotion. I have no words to describe what you mean to me — you helped shape me to be who I am today. Thank you for being my godfather and always being there. Give my dad a big hug for me. Rest in peace Willie. I love you forever. #SayHey” — Former Giants slugger and Mays’ godson, Barry Bonds

“He’s the godfather of center fielders. When you think about playing center field and you’re a person of color, that’s who they compare you to. For him to pull me aside and spend all the time he did with me meant a lot.” — Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

“Willie Mays wasn’t just a singular athlete, blessed with an unmatched combination of grace, skill and power. He was also a wonderfully warm and generous person – and an inspiration to an entire generation. I’m lucky to have spent time with him over the years, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family.” — Former President Barack Obama

“He was a guy I talked to a lot, and we talked baseball. He had a little office right by mine up there. And so I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with that man. Of course, what a legend he is, could be the best, the greatest player of all time, that’s how good he was.” — Former San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy

Legacy of a Baseball Giant

“His incredible achievements and statistics do not begin to describe the awe that came with watching Willie Mays dominate the game in every way imaginable. We will never forget this true Giant on and off the field.” — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

“I was a big Willie Mays fan, what he meant to the game, what he meant to California, all the Giants fans out there and especially me growing up. You wanted to play like Willie and make those catches that he did. The numbers he put up on the field and what he did are impressive, but him as a person and him as a human being is even bigger. He was bigger than baseball. He was something special and the baseball world is definitely going to be missing a great one.” — New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who grew up in Northern California

“RIP Willie Mays. You changed the game forever and inspired kids like me to chase our dream. Thank you for everything that you did on and off the field. Always in our hearts.” — Former pitcher CC Sabathia

“I’m devastated to hear about the passing of the legendary Hall of Famer Willie Mays, one of the main reasons I fell in love with baseball. Cookie and I are praying for his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.” — NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson

Remembering Willie Mays: A True Icon

“The great Willie Mays has passed away. It was a privilege to know him. We were both honored by @MLB in 2010 with the Beacon Award, given to civil rights pioneers. He was a such a kind soul, who gifted my brother Randy a new glove and a television during his rookie year with the @SFGiants. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be missed.” — Tennis legend Billie Jean King

“Willie Mays’ passion for the game and incredible talent made him the embodiment of baseball for millions of fans and one of the most beloved players in history. More than a half century after his playing days, he remained an American treasure and a baseball icon synonymous with love of the game. His ever-present smile and joyous presence radiated throughout Cooperstown, and we will forever cherish his legacy. For teammates, opponents and friends, Willie Mays exemplified excellence.” — Baseball Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark

“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.” — Mets owners Steve and Alex Cohen

“From his professional debut with the Birmingham Black Barons at age 17 through his 24 All-Star Games to his Hall of Fame induction in 1979, Willie’s skill on the field and impact off it elevated him to a stature that was larger than life.” — MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark

“The great Willie Mays has passed away. Had the honor of talking with him several times. He loved that we mentioned his ’54 World Series catch in City Slickers. The man who hit the ball and the “ Giant” who caught it signed this ball. RIP #24.. a thrill to watch you play.” — Actor Billy Crystal

“Best player I’ve ever seen. Greatest player. I fortunately grew up in the Bay Area during Mays’ prime, and he was a five-tool player, an extraordinarily good five-tool player. You’d go to a game and he would do something. Whether it would be a great catch, a great throw, a stolen base, hit a home run or he’d do them all. He was just that kind of player. … What always came off was that he was the ‘Say Hey Kid.’ He had that ebullient personality. Infectious and genuine, and I got to tell him he was the greatest player I ever saw.” — Former player Keith Hernandez

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Quiq Labs Ongoing Camps Transform Summer Learning for Fresno Unified Students

DON'T MISS

Donors to Pro-Biden Super PAC Are Said to Withhold Roughly $90 Million

DON'T MISS

Fact-Checking Biden’s News Conference at the NATO Summit

DON'T MISS

Fresno Dems Make Endorsements Early. Why?

DON'T MISS

End of the Roar: Porsche Bids Farewell to the 718 Internal Combustion Engine

DON'T MISS

Does Joe Biden Realize How Angry These Michigan Voters Are?

DON'T MISS

Vacaville Police Officer Killed While Making a Traffic Stop

DON'T MISS

Sean Burroughs, Former Little League Star and MLB Player, Died of Fentanyl Overdose

DON'T MISS

Merced’s Former Bitwise Building Gets a New Tenant. Who’s Taking It Over?

DON'T MISS

Separating Fact From Fiction About California Homelessness

UP NEXT

Donors to Pro-Biden Super PAC Are Said to Withhold Roughly $90 Million

UP NEXT

Fact-Checking Biden’s News Conference at the NATO Summit

UP NEXT

Fresno Dems Make Endorsements Early. Why?

UP NEXT

End of the Roar: Porsche Bids Farewell to the 718 Internal Combustion Engine

UP NEXT

Does Joe Biden Realize How Angry These Michigan Voters Are?

UP NEXT

Vacaville Police Officer Killed While Making a Traffic Stop

UP NEXT

Sean Burroughs, Former Little League Star and MLB Player, Died of Fentanyl Overdose

UP NEXT

Merced’s Former Bitwise Building Gets a New Tenant. Who’s Taking It Over?

UP NEXT

Separating Fact From Fiction About California Homelessness

UP NEXT

LL Cool J Relearned ‘How to Rap’ on His First Album in 11 Years, ‘the FORCE.’ Here’s How

Fresno Dems Make Endorsements Early. Why?

2 hours ago

End of the Roar: Porsche Bids Farewell to the 718 Internal Combustion Engine

4 hours ago

Does Joe Biden Realize How Angry These Michigan Voters Are?

4 hours ago

Vacaville Police Officer Killed While Making a Traffic Stop

4 hours ago

Sean Burroughs, Former Little League Star and MLB Player, Died of Fentanyl Overdose

5 hours ago

Merced’s Former Bitwise Building Gets a New Tenant. Who’s Taking It Over?

5 hours ago

Separating Fact From Fiction About California Homelessness

5 hours ago

LL Cool J Relearned ‘How to Rap’ on His First Album in 11 Years, ‘the FORCE.’ Here’s How

5 hours ago

UC Merced Begins NCAA Division II Sports Competition in 2025-26 Season

6 hours ago

Bill Belichick Joining ‘Inside the NFL’ for Upcoming Season

6 hours ago

Quiq Labs Ongoing Camps Transform Summer Learning for Fresno Unified Students

In an era when my most advanced tech class involved mastering typing on those colorful backed Apple computers, I am stoked for today’s Fresn...

42 mins ago

42 mins ago

Quiq Labs Ongoing Camps Transform Summer Learning for Fresno Unified Students

1 hour ago

Donors to Pro-Biden Super PAC Are Said to Withhold Roughly $90 Million

2 hours ago

Fact-Checking Biden’s News Conference at the NATO Summit

2 hours ago

Fresno Dems Make Endorsements Early. Why?

4 hours ago

End of the Roar: Porsche Bids Farewell to the 718 Internal Combustion Engine

4 hours ago

Does Joe Biden Realize How Angry These Michigan Voters Are?

4 hours ago

Vacaville Police Officer Killed While Making a Traffic Stop

5 hours ago

Sean Burroughs, Former Little League Star and MLB Player, Died of Fentanyl Overdose

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend