Willie Mays tributes pour in from Barack Obama, Charles Barkley and Derek Jeter after baseball great passes away at 93

Tributes are pouring in after the death of legendary baseball player Willie Mays, with Barack Obama, Charles Barkley and Derek Jeter among those to pay tribute to the MLB icon.

Mays, who died at the age of 93, was remembered as a ‘wonderfully warm and generous person’ by the 44th President Obama, who shared a photo of the pair together.

‘Willie Mays wasn’t just a singular athlete, blessed with an unmatched combination of grace, skill and power, ‘Obama wrote on X. 

‘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. 

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley – himself an Alabama native like Mays – phoned in to CNN to pay tribute to the baseball star.  

Willi Mays, one of baseball’s all-time greats, has passed away at the age of 93

Mays was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2015

Mays was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2015

‘Most of us black athletes, we have no idea what these guys have been through…To try to be great at a sport, and then deal with all the racial strife that these guys had to deal with, that’s what makes them heroes,’ he said.

‘It’s easy for guys today to be heroes, when you’re making 30, 40, 50 million dollars playing a sport,’ he continued. ‘You can say what you want to, you can do what you want to. But trying to be great at a sport, like I said, when you can’t stay at a certain hotel, you can’t go to a certain restaurant… that’s what make Mr. Mays, Hank Aaron, Larry Doby – that’s what make those guys heroes.’

Yankees legend Derek Jeter added on X that Mays was ‘one of the best to ever play the game and even a better person. Thoughts and prayers are with Willie’s family and loved ones,’ he said.

And former Giants slugger Barry Bonds – who was Mays’ godson – penned an emotional tribute on Instagram. 

‘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 hug for me.

‘Rest in peace Willie, I love you forever. #SayHey’

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