Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda dies at 86

Orlando Cepeda, first baseman for the San Francisco Giants, has played in eleven All-Star games and three World Series.

Orlando Cepeda was the first Puerto Rican player to start an MLB All-Star Game. (Getty Images)

San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals great Orlando Cepeda has Friday, the Giants announced Friday. He was 86 years old.

Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 via the veterans committee, Cepeda was among the most-feared power bats of his generation and one of the first great Puerto Rican baseball players. His loss comes only 10 days after the death of Willie Mays, with whom he starred on the Giants for nine seasons.

The Giants announced his death during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a moment of silence before the sixth inning.

Cepeda retired in 1974 with no shortage of accomplishments. He was an 11-time All-Star, an NL MVP, a World Series champion, a Rookie of the Year and one of the Giants’ great players. However, his post-retirement life was marred when he was arrested on charges of transporting 170 pounds of marijuana from Columbia to Puerto Rico.

Facing no shortage of legal issues, Cepeda spent 10 months in prison. He spent the next several years rehabilitating his image as he returned to baseball as a scout, converted to Buddhism and working for the Giants as a community ambassador.

After missing out on Hall of Fame enshrinement by nine votes in his final year of BBWAA eligibility in 1994, the veterans committee stepped up five years later to make him the second Puerto Rican to be inducted, joining Roberto Clemente.

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