Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, long-time San Francisco Giants first baseman, has passed away at the age of 80, the team announced today.
McCovey debuted with the Giants in 1959 at the age of 21. In the early years of his career, he was a part-time player due to the presence of fellow future Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda — both were first basemen only, and there was no DH, and thus the two essentially platooned until Cepeda was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of the 1966 season.
McCovey was a first ballot Hall of Famer, leading the lead in OPS three times and in home runs three times, and being named the National League MVP in 1969. McCovey’s 521 career home runs place him 20th all time, and his 64.5 career bWAR places him 15th all time among first basemen. McCovey is also a member of the four-decade team, having played in the majors in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, and of course, is the namesake for McCovey Cove outside AT&T Park.