San Francisco Giants legend and Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey died on Wednesday.
He 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. #Forever44 | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/ooOYg4ESol
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) October 31, 2018
McCovey died at the Stanford Hospital on Wednesday afternoon after a lengthy “battle with ongoing health issues.” He had been in a wheelchair for several years, and underwent multiple surgeries on his knees — one of which stemmed from an infection in 2014 and nearly killed him. He recently developed an infection and was hospitalized last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
McCovey played for the Giants from 1959-1973, and then again from 1977-1980 to close out his career after a brief stint with the San Diego Padres and the Oakland A’s. The six-time All-Star recorded 18 grand slams in his 22-season career, the most in National League history, and hit 521 home runs, which is No. 20 on the all-time list. He was named the 1959 National League Rookie of the Year, and then the National League Most Valuable Player in 1969.
His No. 44 jersey was retired by the Giants, who then erected a statue of McCovey in front of their stadium at China Basin Park in San Francisco in 2003. McCovey was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1986.
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