Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey dies at 80

Giants great Willie McCovey died Wednesday after dealing with ongoing health issues. He was 80 years old.

It is with great sadness that we announce that San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 80 after losing his battle with ongoing health issues. #Forever44 | #SFGiants

Called “the scariest hitter in baseball” by Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, McCovey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

The 1959 National League Rookie of the Year batted .270 with 521 home runs and 1,555 RBIs from 1959-1980. He played for the Giants, Athletics and Padres during his 22-year career.

In his MLB debut, McCovey went 4 for 4 against Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. He batted .354 in his first season, playing 52 games that year.

He appeared in six All-Star games and was named the MVP in 1969 after batting .320 with 46 home runs and 126 RBIs.

McCovey is one of just 27 players to hit 500 career home runs. He is one of 53 players to have driven in at least 1,500 runs.

He hit more home runs at Candlestick Park (231) than any other player. In his early years playing for the Giants in San Francisco, fans would stand behind the bleachers in right field in hopes of catching one of  McCovey’s home run balls.

The Giants opened Pac Bell Park — now AT&T Park — in 2000. There is a short porch in right field in front of the bay, where people in boats still wait to catch home runs, nicknamed McCovey Cove.

“San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken,” Giants president and chief executive officer Laurence M. Baer said in a statement. “Willie was a beloved figure throughout his playing days and in retirement. He will be deeply missed by the many people he touched.”

Source: Read Full Article