San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey in action at first base against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field during the 1970 season.

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants Icon Willie McCovey Has Died

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
October 31, 2018 - 5:31 pm
Categories: 

SAN FRANCISCO — Former San Francisco Giant and Hall of Fame baseball player Willie McCovey has died, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. 

McCovey, who played much of his career holding down first base for the Giants, was 80.

"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," the team said in a tweet. 

Over 22 seasons, primarily with the Giants, McCovey was a prolific slugger, hitting 521 home runs. He won the National League's rookie of the year award in 1959, and in 1969, he was named the league's most valuable player. He retired in 1980 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. 

“San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken,” said Giants President Laurence Baer in a statement

Through his long tenure in San Francisco, McCovey became one of the franchise's most popular players and remained active with the team for years after his retirement. In recent years as his health declined, he relied on a wheelchair, but made frequent appearances at team events. 

The team retired the number he wore on his uniform — 44. 

“I am grateful that my father passed peacefully surrounded by his family and friends while listening to his favorite sports channel,” said his daughter Allison McCovey in a statement. 

The team announced that there will be a public memorial for McCovey at a later date. 

Condolences may be sent to the McCovey family via the Giants organization.

They should be sent to: Forever 44, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107.

Messages may also be emailed to: [email protected].