While Hall of Famer Willie McCovey remains hospitalized recovering following complications from an infection, he is monitoring every development with the playoff-bound San Francisco Giants.
The 76-year-old McCovey, who was hospitalized about two weeks ago in the Bay Area, will have to miss the presentation of an award in his name that will be announced and given to a San Francisco player during a pregame ceremony at AT&T Park on Friday night.
“He's still in the hospital recovering and unfortunately will not be here tomorrow night,” Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said. “However he's following the team closely and watching each pitch and will be tuning in for tomorrow night's ceremony.”
The “Willie Mac” Award is voted on by the players, coaches and training staff to recognize the team's most inspirational player both on the field and in the clubhouse. This is expected to be the first time McCovey has missed the award presentation since its inception in 1980.
The Giants have stayed in close contact with McCovey and his family. The club urged fans to keep the former first baseman and left fielder nicknamed “Stretch” in their thoughts, and said notes could be sent to him at AT&T Park. McCovey had been a regular at games this season and has attended many Giants games over the past few seasons.
McCovey was a career .270 hitter with 521 homers and 1,555 RBIs in 22 major league seasons, 19 of them with the Giants. He also played for the Athletics and Padres.
McCovey still gets asked regularly about the 1962 World Series the Giants lost in seven games to the New York Yankees, and it's still a tough memory. The Giants lost 1-0 in Game 7 when McCovey lined out to second baseman Bobby Richardson with runners on second and third for the final out.