File- This Aug. 2, 1079 file photo shows baseball great Willie Mays and his wife, Mae sitting together on the A train in New York City. Mays announced his wife's death through the San Francisco Giants on Friday April 9, 2013. The couple had been married 41 years after they met during his playing years in New York. The team said Mrs. Mays died in her sleep Friday morning in the couple's Bay Area home after a long fight with Alzheimer's disease. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Updated: May 22, 2013 7:16AM
SAN FRANCISCO — The wife of Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, Mae Louise Allen Mays, has died. She was 74.
Mays announced his wife’s death through the San Francisco Giants on Friday. The couple had been married 41 years after they met during his playing years in New York.
The team said Mrs. Mays died in her sleep Friday morning in the couple’s Bay Area home after a 16-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mrs. Mays was born on May 26, 1938. She grew up in the racially segregated Homewood section of Pittsburgh, becoming an accomplished sprinter.
According to a news release from the Giants, the Mayses were married in November 1971.
Mays family attorney Malcolm Heinicke stated, “Mae died peacefully and without pain. Willie is now grieving the loss of his beautiful wife of more than four decades, but he is staying strong by remembering all of the many experiences they enjoyed together. Mae was a beautiful person, and although her illness took some of her memories late in life, Mae passed with full knowledge that Willie loved her dearly. Willie appreciates all of the well wishes of his friends and fans during this difficult time.”