Baseball great Willie Mays has died at the age of 93, his family has announced.

A statement from the family issued by his former club the San Francisco Giants said he had “passed away peacefully and among loved ones” on Tuesday.

A 24-time All Star known as the Say Hey Kid, Mays was the oldest living Hall of Famer.

Obit Willie Mays Baseball
San Francisco Giants centre fielder Willie Mays (AP)

Giants chairman Greg Johnson said: “Today we have lost a true legend. In the pantheon of baseball greats, Willie Mays’ combination of tremendous talent, keen intellect, showmanship and boundless joy set him apart.

“He was an inspiration and a hero who will be forever remembered and deeply missed.”

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Mays left “a legacy like no other”.

He said: “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.”

Mays hit 660 home runs to rank sixth on the all-time list during his 22 Major League seasons, mostly with the Giants in New York and then San Francisco before finishing his career with the New York Mets.

He also won 12 Gold Gloves and his catch in the 1954 World Series against the Cleveland Indians is considered one of the greatest defensive plays in baseball history.

He was named National League rookie of the year in 1951 – after the Giants brought his contract from Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League in 1948 – and was the league’s MVP in 1954 and 1965 after spending two years in the Army.

Elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, becoming only the ninth player to be voted in during his first year of eligibility, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then president Barack Obama in 2015.

The Sporting News magazine ranked him second to Babe Ruth in its list of the 100 greatest baseball players of the 20th century.