Orlando Cepeda die at the age of 86

FILE - Atlanta Braves' Orlando Cepeda poses for a photo in 1970, location not known. Cepeda, the slugging first baseman nicknamed “Baby Bull” who became a Hall of Famer among the early Puerto Ricans to star in the major leagues, has died. He was 86. The San Francisco Giants and his family announced the death Friday night, June 28, 2024, and a moment of silence was held on the scoreboard at Oracle Park midway through a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (AP Photo, File)

Hall of Fame first baseman Orlando Cepeda, who left an indelible stamp of excellence on two National League franchises during the 1960s, died Friday, the Giants announced. He was 86.

“Our beloved Orlando passed away peacefully at home this evening, listening to his favorite music and surrounded by his loved ones,” his wife, Nydia, said in a statement released by the Giants. “We take comfort that he is at peace.”

“Orlando Cepeda was one of the best hitters of his generation. He starred for three historic National League franchises, and the 11-time All-Star played alongside Hall of Fame players throughout his career,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Orlando was the 1958 National League Rookie of the Year when Major League Baseball debuted in San Francisco, where later ‘The Baby Bull’s’ number 30 was retired. In 1967 he earned NL MVP honors during the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Championship season.

“Orlando overcame challenges throughout his life to build a Hall of Fame career. This beloved figure from Puerto Rico was one of the many players of his era who helped turn baseball into a multicultural game. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, his friends across our game, and his many fans in Puerto Rico, San Francisco, St. Louis, Atlanta and beyond.”