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Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda dies at age 86

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Orlando Cepeda has died at the age of 86, the San Francisco Giants announced Friday night during their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cepeda was just 20 years old when he made his debut with the Giants in 1958, their first year in San Francisco. He was an instant success, winning the 1958 NL Rookie of the Year award and then earning six consecutive All-Star nominations. (In an era of multiple All-Star games, Cepeda was ultimately selected as an All-Star 11 times.)

Although he enjoyed his most consistent success in San Francisco—the Giants retired his No. 30 in 1999—Cepeda reached the peak of his career after a trade to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966.

In 1967, Cepeda was named the United States national team’s Most Valuable Player after posting a .325 batting average and 111 runs for the Cardinals team that won the championship and the World Series.

In 1969 he moved again to the Atlanta Braves (for Joe Torre) and in 1972 from the Braves to the Oakland A’s (for former Cy Young winner Denny McClain). His career ended after the 1974 season after stints in Boston and Kansas City.

He finished his career with a .297 average, 2,351 hits and 379 home runs.

Orlando Cepeda, seen here during the Giants' World Series parade in 2012, has died at the age of 86.Orlando Cepeda, seen here during the Giants' World Series parade in 2012, has died at the age of 86.

Orlando Cepeda, seen here during the Giants’ World Series parade in 2012, has died at the age of 86.

An arrest in his native Puerto Rico for marijuana possession in 1975 resulted in a brief prison sentence—which may have delayed his induction into the Hall of Fame—but Cepeda was eventually inducted through the Veterans Committee in Cooperstown in 1999. When he was inducted, Cepeda became only the second Puerto Rican in the Hall of Fame, after Roberto Clemente.

The Giants, who experienced the death of franchise icon Willie Mays less than two weeks ago, held a moment of silence for Cepeda during their game against the Dodgers.

“Our beloved Orlando passed away peacefully at home this evening,” said his wife Nydia in a statement from the Giants“It comforts us that he rests in peace.”

Giants chairman Greg Johnson said: “We have lost a true gentleman and a legend. Orlando was a great ambassador for the game throughout his playing career and beyond.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Orlando Cepeda, Baseball Hall of Fame member and Giants legend, dies at 86

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