Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has died at age 80

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie McCovey dead at 80 Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants slugger and Hall of Famer, dead at 80
Shannon Reynolds | 03 November, 2018, 08:57

Hall of Fame first baseman and one of the most beloved former members of the San Francisco Giants, Willie McCovey died Wednesday.

McCovey had been in a wheel chair for many years and suffered a major infection four years ago that nearly killed him. The Chronicle said he recently developed another infection and was hospitalized late last week.

Karl Ravech looks back at the life and Hall of Fame career of Willie McCovey, who hit 521 home runs in 22 Major League Baseball seasons.

"San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken", Baer said. On Sept. 30, he attended the Giants' season finale against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers.

Willie McCovey, the sweet-swinging Hall of Famer nicknamed "Stretch" for his 6-foot-4 height and those long arms, died Wednesday. He played 13 of those years on the Giants with teammate Willie Mays and together they formed one of the most powerful hitting duos in baseball history. McCovey smoked a line drive off the Yankees' Ralph Terry -only to watch helplessly as NY second baseman Bobby Richardson snagged it.

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a statement to CBS San Francisco saying McCovey "brought joy to so many San Franciscans through his years on the field and dedication to our city". In 1980, the Giants established the "Willie Mac" Award, an honor bestowed on the player who "best exemplifies the spirit and leadership" shown by McCovey.

McCovey, a six-time All-Star who also played for the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics, finished his career with 521 home runs, the same number as another great left-handed hitter: Ted Williams.

In the press release, McCovey's wife Estela McCovey contributed: "Every moment he will be terribly missed". 'He was my best friend and husband. I'm going to miss him so much.

The Giants paid tribute to McCovey on Wednesday afternoon by flying the flags at AT&T Park at half-staff. "Living life without him will never be the same". Yet, as beloved as McCovey may be, his greatness as a hitter may actually be underappreciated. He was grandfather to Allison's three children, Raven, Phillip, and Marissa; Giants President and Chief Executive Officer said "Willie's greatest passion was his family". McCovey also is survived by sister Frances and brothers Clauzell and Cleon. 'This is two in three years.

His legacy lives on in San Francisco in the form of the "Willie Mac" Award, given to the team's most inspirational player, and the watery landing zone for mammoth home runs behind the right field wall, McCovey Cove.

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