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Mets Retiring Willie Mays' Number: MLB World Reacts

Mets and Yankees line up before a game.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: A general view during ceremonies honoring the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks prior to a game between between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees at Citi Field on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New York Mets have retired No. 24 in honor of Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

Though Mays is more widely remembered for his 21-year career with the New York/San Francisco Giants, he played for the Mets during his final two professional seasons (1972-73).

This decision fulfills the wishes of the team's late owner Joan Payson — the first woman to own a major league baseball team.

The Mets made the announcement with a surprise speech before their Old Timer's Day game at Citi Field on Saturday.

The baseball world took to Twitter to react to this news.

"Since the #SFGiants moved west in 1958, Willie Mays always had New York in his heart. As heartbroken as Giants’ fans were that he was traded to the Mets, it was a fitting ending in many ways. A really cool moment in Queens today," one fan wrote.

"One of the most amazing moments I’ve witnessed in person. Nobody knew it was coming. Floored. Brought to tears," another added.

"I’m sure most will disagree with me but I don’t like this at all. Mays is one of the best players of all-time but he was a Giant, not a Met," another added.

Mays was unable to be at Citi Field for today's announcement, but he issued a prepared statement in response to the honor.

“The Mets retiring my number? Number 24? Man, that’s the best,” part of the statement read. “... You might lose a lot of details after so many years, but what I can never forget is the way it felt to be back in New York City playing for the fans. Mets fans are loyal. Mets fans are passionate. Mets fans are loud.”

No New York Met will ever wear the No. 24 again.