Matt Bigler

Memories of Willie Mac

Giants Hall of Fame Slugger Remembered

KCBS Radio Morning News
November 01, 2018 - 6:29 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- An impromptu memorial is growing at the base of the Willie McCovey statue on the shores of McCovey Cove. The San Francisco Giants legendary slugger died Wednesday at the age of 80

Matt Bigler

McCovey had battled health issues for years but was able to make a final AT&T Park appearance on the final weekend of the home season. McCovey participated in the annual "Willie Mac Award" ceremony, which honors a Giants player deemed "most inspirational". 

Word of McCovey's death prompted an immediate outpouring of grief and memories. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who grew up a Dodger fan in Southern California, paused before the team's game in Oakland to tell reporters, "I'm well aware of how beloved Willie McCovey was in the Bay Area," while offering condolences to McCovey's family and Giants fans.

Giants broadcaster Jon Miller recalled McCovey's self-effacing nature. In a Thursday morning live interview on KCBS Radio, Miller recounted a time when a reporter asked McCovey how he'd like to be remembered.

"I'd LIKE to be remembered for winning the World Series," McCovey reportedly said, referring to the line drive he hit at New York Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson for the last out of Game 7 in 1962's Fall Classic.  If that smash had been a foot or two higher, McCovey's legacy might have been different.

Longtime Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, who pitched against McCovey during his own Major League career, pointed to McCovey's grace in the face of infirmity. "He never, ever complained about the road that he traveled and it was not easy," Krukow told KCBS Radio.