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"My nickname was Pittsburgh." Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen reflects on the legacy of Willie Mays

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The baseball world is in mourning after an icon of the sport, Willie Mays, died on Tuesday at age 93

The 24-time all-star had a career that spanned 22 seasons across Major League Baseball and the Negro Leagues. 

San Francisco, the club he was most known for playing for, released a statement saying Mays had "passed away peacefully this afternoon." 

Following the Pirates 2-1 loss to the Reds on Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen, who spent one season in San Francisco, reflected on Mays's impact on the game of baseball. 

"Before there was Bonds and Griffey and all these guys, and Stargell, it was Willie Mays," McCutchen said. "He was the guy who, before Rickey Henderson, before all these great center fielders, there was Wilie Mays. He was a pioneer for the game." 

Despite only spending one season with the Giants, McCutchen revealed an interaction he had with Mays during the 2018 season. 

"My nickname was 'Pittsburgh,'" he recalled. "That was my nickname to him. He'd always call me Pittsburgh. [He] paid a lot of attention to the games that we played in, talked to him every time I got the chance, I'm pretty sure every time. He probably got tired of me but any time I had an opportunity to be around him, I was going to be around him." 

McCutchen recalled some light ribbing from Hays during a particularly rough stretch in San Francisco after the team returned home from a road trip. 

"Well, you left to go on the road for 10 games, you had 10 runs," McCutchen recalled Hays saying to him. "You came back, still got 10 home runs." 

"His legacy is going to live on," McCutchen said. 

The MLB said Thursday's games will now include a "pregame ceremony honoring the life of Willie Mays."

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