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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

⚾ MLB legend Willie Mays dies at 93

The baseball world lost a true legend on Tuesday. Willie Mays, one of the greatest baseball players ever, died at the age of 93. Mays, also known as the "Say Hey Kid," was a 24-time MLB All-Star, two-time NL MVP and won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1954.

After beginning his career with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues, Mays signed with the Giants in 1950, but his career was quickly put on pause due to being drafted into the Korean War in 1951.

When he returned for the 1954 season, Mays won the NL MVP and led the Giants to a World Series. That kicked off a legendary career that went on for 23 more seasons, and Mays still ranks near the top of the MLB record books in a number of categories.

  • 3,292 hits (13th all-time)
  • 660 home runs (6th all-time)
  • 1,909 RBI (12th all-time)
  • 6,080 total bases (4th all-time)
  • 2,068 runs scored (7th all-time)
  • 156.2 WAR (5th all-time)

Mays, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, had an incredibly impactful career on and off the field. I implore you to read our own Mike Axisa's elegant recap of Mays' life and legacy.

It was hoped that Mays would be able to be honored tomorrow night during the MLB's game between the Giants and Cardinals at Rickwood Field, home of the Black Barons. However, he recently stated that health issues were going to prevent him from making the trip. Instead, the event will become an opportunity to commemorate Mays' life and legacy. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the ceremony would be an opportunity to celebrate a true hero.

  • Manfred: "Thursday's game at historic Rickwood Field was designed to be a celebration of Willie Mays and his peers. With sadness in our hearts, it will now also serve as a national remembrance of an American who will forever remain on the short list of the most impactful individuals our great game has ever known."

In the wake of Mays' passing, some of the biggest names in baseball paid tribute to the Giants legend. Barry Bonds, Mays' godson, Keith Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins, C.C. Sabathia and others have all shared heartfelt messages about Mays' impact on them.

🏒 Good morning to everyone, but especially to ...

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No one has ever been more excited for a 5.5-hour flight from South Florida to Edmonton than the Oilers. That's because they will host Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Panthers, 5-3, in Game 5.

For the second consecutive game, the Oilers were staring down the barrel of elimination and came up with a win to keep their season alive. After tallying two goals and two assists on Tuesday, Connor McDavid has now strung together back-to-back four-point performances.

McDavid has already surpassed Wayne Gretzky's record for most assists in a single postseason, and he's closing in on another. McDavid now has 42 points in these playoffs, putting him just five points behind Gretzky's all-time record of 47 points, which was set in the 1985 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While he was certainly the headliner, McDavid wasn't the only Oiler who had a good night.

  • Corey Perry's game-winning goal made him the first player NHL history to score a Stanley Cup Final goal with five different teams.
  • Zach Hyman, the leading goal-scorer in these playoffs, lit the lamp for the first time in the series.
  • Defenseman Evan Bouchard was all over the scoresheet with three assists.

For the second straight game, Florida's power play allowed a shorthanded goal to open the scoring. To make matters worse, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was rather pedestrian once again, allowing four goals on 23 shots against.

The Panthers did make a late push to cut the lead to 4-3, but their comeback came up just short. Now the Panthers have to make that long flight back to Alberta to play Game 6 in a hostile Rogers Place environment.

👍 Honorable mentions

🏀 And not such a good morning for ...

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The Sparks organization is holding its collective breath this morning. That's because rookie star Cameron Brink exited the first quarter of their game against the Sun after taking an awkward fall and appearing to suffer a knee injury.

Brink, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, went down while driving to the rim against Sun forward Brionna Jones. She immediately grabbed her knee in pain and showed visible discomfort.

With the help of her teammates, Brink was able to get to her feet and limp off the court. However, she never returned to the game and registered just four minutes of playing time. Without Brink the rest of the way, the Sparks fell to the Sun, 79-70.

In his postgame press conference, Sparks head coach Curt Miller said Brink would undergo further evaluation on Wednesday.

  • Miller: "We're praying, and we're hoping for the best for Cam."

Brink is having a strong rookie season with the Sparks, averaging 7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game thus far. The loss of Brink would put more weight on the shoulders of rookie teammate Rickea Jackson, who just slotted in at No. 3 in our own Isabel Gonzalez's WNBA Rookie Rankings.

Any long-term injury for Brink would also impact her status for the 2024 Paris Olympics. She was recently selected to be part of the 3x3 women's basketball roster for Team USA.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 Prisco's 100: Patrick Mahomes remains No. 1 in 2024


It's that time of year again. Our own Pete Prisco has unveiled his ranking of the top 100 players in the NFL, and Patrick Mahomes has defended his spot at No. 1.

Mahomes, 28, is coming off his second consecutive Super Bowl -- and the third of his already prolific career. Even if his traditional counting stats weren't as eye-popping last season, Mahomes still proved that he is the standard bearer in the NFL.

According to Prisco, another Super Bowl this season will officially vault the Chiefs quarterback into the GOAT conversation.

  • Prisco: "His numbers were down last season, but he showed in the playoffs that he is the best player in the league -- and on his way to being considered the best ever. If he three-peats this season, is it time to say he's the best ever?"

While Mahomes maintained the top spot in the rankings, there was plenty of movement behind him. Here are a few of the notable risers and fallers in the 2024 list:


  • Trey Hendrickson, DE, Bengals (+58)
  • Penei Sewell, OT, Lions (+49)
  • Maxx Crosby, DE, Raiders (+27)
  • CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys (+27)
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB, 49ers (+19)


  • Derrick Henry, RB, Ravens (-61)
  • Jaire Alexander, CB, Packers (-43)
  • Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars (-39)
  • Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles (-22)
  • Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers (-19)

Our own Will Backus also did a breakdown of which college programs produced the most top-100 players. If you can believe it, Alabama and the rest of the SEC were very well-represented.

🍀 Are the Celtics the next great NBA dynasty?

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The city of Boston is still celebrating the Celtics and their record-setting 18th NBA championship, but it's hard not to imagine what the future might hold for this team.

That future is a bright one, and this title could very well be the start of the NBA's next great dynasty. The Celtics just went 16-3 in the playoffs, cruising to a championship without much resistance, and the core of this team is still relatively young. That's a very scary thought for the rest of the league.

Are we watching the next version of the WarriorsSpurs or Bulls emerge before our very eyes? Our own Bill Reiter explained that the Celtics have all the right pieces to match the most iconic dynasties in NBA history.

  • Reiter: "Jaylen Brown is 27. Jayson Tatum is 26. Joe Mazzulla is just starting out his head-coaching journey. Brad Stevens, who put this group together, looks a lot like the most formidable NBA executive in the game. Boston won with Kristaps Porzingis, arguably the team's third-best player, missing almost the entire playoffs -- he played just three Finals games, never topping 23 minutes played in a single game."

For the immediate future, the Celtics' focus is on their championship parade, and it should be. It's just tough to look at the roster and wonder how many more of those parades there will be in the next few years.

📺 What we're watching Wednesday

Euro 2024 -- Croatia at Albania, 9 a.m. on FS1
College World Series -- Kentucky vs. Florida, 11 a.m. on ESPN
Euro 2024 -- Germany at Hungary, 12 p.m. pn FS1
Reds at Pirates, 12:35 p.m. on ESPN+
College World Series -- Tennessee vs. Florida State, 3 p.m. on ESPN
Euro 2024 -- Scotland at Switzerland, 3 p.m. on Fox
College World Series -- Texas A&M vs. TBD, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Mystics at Fever, 7 p.m. on NBA TV