Tributes pour in for baseball Hall of Fame star Orlando Cepeda who dies at 86

Orlando Ceveda, a basketball legend who was one of the first Puerto Ricans to star in the major leagues, has died at the age of 86.

The San Francisco Giants and his family announced his death on Friday evening, and a minute of silence was held at Oracle Stadium during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His wife, Nydia, said in a statement issued through the team: “Our beloved Orlando passed away peacefully at home this evening, listening to his favorite music and surrounded by his loved ones.” “We are relieved that he is at peace.”

Cepeda’s death comes just 10 days after fellow Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays died at the age of 93.

“What another gutsy hit,” said Giants manager Bob Melvin, who grew up cheering for the team in the Bay Area. “Another incredible, beloved character here. The statue out front. The numbers he put up, there’s a lot of legend here and he’s definitely in the middle of that. To be so close to Willie, it’s kind of amazing.”

Cepeda, a slugging shortstop nicknamed “Baby Bull,” played for the Giants as well as St. Louis, Atlanta, Oakland, Boston and Kansas City. In the spring of 1969, Cepeda was traded by the Cardinals to the Braves in exchange for Joe Torre.

Cepeda was a seven-time All-Star and played in three World Series, was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1958 with San Francisco and the National League Most Valuable Player in 1967 with St. Louis.

“Orlando Cepeda’s unabashed love for baseball shone through his extraordinary playing career and later as one of the game’s enduring ambassadors,” Hall of Fame President Jane Forbes Clark said. “We will miss his amazing smile at Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, where his spirit will forever shine, and we extend our deepest condolences to the Cepeda family.”

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