The universe works in mysterious ways, and San Francisco Giants Special Advisor Dusty Baker experienced that firsthand Tuesday. After visiting the great Willie Mays on Monday, the 93-year-old legend passed away Tuesday.

Baker expressed his feelings on losing his longtime friend, via USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

“Isn’t it ironic?’’ said Baker, “that while the eyes of the entire baseball world is on Birmingham, Willie passes.’’

The Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are playing a Negro League tribute game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday, which Mays was originally going to attend. The 24-time All-Star called the stadium home when he played for the league's Birmingham Black Barons in 1948 before moving to the Giants in 1951.

“There’s just something that told me to go see him,’’ Baker continued. “My dad used to always tell me that if you’re thinking of someone, don’t put it off. You don’t know if you’ll see them again.”

“Well, I went to see him, and thank God I did.’’

Baker, who entered the league in Mays' final years as a player, is well-versed in the legend's impact on the game. The managerial legend is a baseball historian, and it's why he knew he had to see him before the inevitable occurred.

“I think about Tupac,’’ Baker said. “Death is around the corner. I could kind of feel it [Monday] a little bit.’’

Baker may have been alarmed by Mays' announcement that he wouldn't attend the Rickwood game, as he couldn't “move as well” as he used to. He assured that he'd watch the game from the comfort of his home, but he'll now have to watch from the heavens.

Regardless, Baker was certainly glad he followed his intuition and made time to see the “Say Hey Kid.”

“I’m sure going to miss him. We all are,’’ says Baker. “He had this big, old golf ball muscle in his hands. He and Hank Aaron both. Strong handshake. He was something, wasn’t he?’’

How has the rest of the baseball world reacted to the loss of the formerly greatest living player?

The Giants legend left a permanent mark on the game

Hall of Famer Willie Mays throws out the first pitch prior to the Mets/ Cardinals game Sunday at Shea Stadium on July 30, 2000.
© Danielle P. Richards/The Record / USA TODAY NETWORK

Mays captured baseball fans' hearts with his generational talent, which was on display during “The Catch” in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series when he made the iconic over-the-shoulder grab in deep center field. The former Giant finished with a .301 career batting average and still ranks sixth all-time with 660 homers.

Michael Mays, Willie's son, released a statement, via the AP's Hillel Italie.

“My father has passed away peacefully and among loved ones,” son Michael Mays said in a statement released by the club. “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart for the unwavering love you have shown him over the years. You have been his life’s blood.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred also paid his respects.

“All of Major League Baseball is in mourning today as we are gathered at the very ballpark where a career and a legacy like no other began,” he said. “Willie Mays took his all-around brilliance from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League to the historic Giants franchise. From coast to coast … Willie inspired generations of players and fans as the game grew and truly earned its place as our National Pastime.”

Although Mays has left Earth, his legacy and impact on the baseball world will live forever.