Sports world pays tribute to Willie McCovey

By Michael Dixon
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants announced on Wednesday that Hall of Famer Willie McCovey passed away at the age of 80.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.