The San Francisco Giants announced on Wednesday that Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away at the age of 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. #Forever44 | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/ooOYg4ESol
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 31, 2018
— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) November 1, 2018
McCovey was inducted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. He was a six-time All-Star, won the NL MVP in 1969, and the NL Rookie of the Year in 1959.
McCovey’s passing brought an outpouring of support from the baseball world.
.@SFGiants President & Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer on the passing of Willie McCovey:
“San Francisco and the entire baseball community lost a true gentleman and legend, and our collective hearts are broken." pic.twitter.com/KbyjjunDUU
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) November 1, 2018
Longtime Giants beatwriter Henry Schulman paid tribute to McCovey on Twitter, as well.
“Getting to know Willie McCovey is not just a highlight of my career, but my life. When he would be taken to his car through the tunnel after games, fans who might have seen him play and those who surely didn’t seemed awed. They have to pay their respects. Even the young ones understood what Willie meant to the city, the team and the players who got to know him through the years. Please keep his family in your thoughts.”
Others echoed similar sentiments.
I will cherish the time I spent with you. To talk to an all time great like Willie McCovey was a dream. May you rest in Peace 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/kTELZxYMij
— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) November 1, 2018
— Nancy Gay (@nancygay) November 1, 2018
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) November 1, 2018
The Giants have announced that Willie McCovey passed away today. Not just a franchise legend, but a baseball legend. He always brought a big smile to the ballpark.
— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) November 1, 2018
— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) November 1, 2018
Such a loss. Willie McCovey had a larger-than-life presence in the batter’s box and a rare approachability off the field. He was such a beloved figure in San Francisco. Rest in peace, Stretch. https://t.co/HiPaUOQKUW
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 1, 2018
RIP to the great Willie McCovey. It was a true pleasure to get to spend time and talk to one of the greatest to ever play the game. #Forever44
— Christian Arroyo (@arroyo_c) November 1, 2018
Baseball has lost an icon.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 1, 2018
Absolutely crushed by this news! Being a Giant history is always around you, but with both Willies always around legends seemed to always be WITH you. Willie McCovey was a damn fine ball player I never saw. But what a man, thank you for treating me like I was something! #stretch https://t.co/QXzTMVhuDX
— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) November 1, 2018
I'm extremely sad to hear of the passing of my dear friend @SFGiants Legend Willie McCovey. I will always have fond memories of him. Our thoughts are with his family. #RIP My friend #Forever44 #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/IfNyEEszPW
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) November 1, 2018
McCovey finished his career with 521 home runs. As a sign of his longevity, he’s one of only four players to homer in four different decades.
Players to homer in four different decades:
Rickey Henderson pic.twitter.com/jWDvtqRfsq
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) November 1, 2018
McCovey’s legacy will live on. The Giants have awarded the Willie Mac Award every year to the team’s most inspirational player. The award’s most recent winner, Will Smith, paid tribute to McCovey after his passing.
Was honored to have been awarded the Willie Mac award from Willie McCovey himself. Something I will cherish forever. May he Rest In Peace. #ForeverGiant #GiantsLegend #HOF @ Georgia https://t.co/Yb2cIKDp4s
— Will Smith (@White_Willy13) November 1, 2018
The part of San Francisco Bay right beyond the right field wall in San Francisco’s AT&T Park has been named McCovey Cove since the park’s open in 2000.