Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 30, 2024

Giants Legend Orlando Cepeda Dies At 86, Days After Willie Mays

A revered figure in baseball and a Puerto Rican icon has passed away at the age of 86.

Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda's death comes just 10 days that of former teammate Willie Mays, as the Daily Mail reports.

Cepeda was affectionately known as "Baby Bull" and was celebrated for his remarkable contributions to the sport and his endearing personality. He was remembered for his generosity, kindness, and joy by those who knew him.

Orlando Cepeda's Extraordinary Career

Orlando Cepeda's death was announced by the San Francisco Giants, the team with which he spent the first nine seasons of his 17-year career, starting in 1958. During his career, Cepeda amassed 379 home runs, 1,365 RBIs, a batting average of .297, and an OPS of .849.

In 1967, Cepeda led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series championship victory over the Boston Red Sox and was named the unanimous National League Most Valuable Player. He was crucial to the team's success that year, propelling them to 101 wins.

Cepeda's prowess on the field earned him the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1958, where he posted a .312 average with 25 home runs and 96 RBIs. His performance left an indelible mark in the baseball community.

Memorable Moments and Voluminous Accolades

The Giants honored Cepeda with a moment of silence during their 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. This gesture reflects the high regard the community had for him. Orlando Cepeda was an 11-time All-Star, with eight of those honors coming in four successive seasons (1959-62).

Overcoming injuries in 1965 and early 1966, Cepeda asked for a trade and was swapped to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Ray Sadecki on May 8, 1966. Despite the setbacks, Cepeda continued to impress, helping the Cardinals reach the World Series again in 1968.

In 1961, Cepeda was the MVP runner-up, reaching a league-high of 46 home runs and a major-league-leading 142 RBIs. His impressive feats on the field made him an iconic figure in the sports world.

Remembering Cepeda's Legacy

Cepeda's teammate, Willie Mays, during Cepeda's rookie season, described him as "strong," hitting to all fields and making all the plays. Cepeda's relaxed demeanor contributed to his outstanding performance on the field.

Giants president and CEO Larry Baer expressed his sorrow: "This is truly a sad day for the San Francisco Giants. For all of Orlando's extraordinary baseball accomplishments, it was his generosity, kindness, and joy that defined him. No one loved the game more."

Orlando Cepeda was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, a testament to his lasting impact on the sport. His contributions extended beyond his statistics, as he was known for his cheerful disposition and generous nature.

As the baseball community reflects on his life, Orlando Cepeda's legacy as a player and a person will endure. His accomplishments on the field and his character off it will be remembered by fans and teammates alike.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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