Hall of Famer McCovey to make ballpark return - KMOV.com

Hall of Famer McCovey to make ballpark return

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw

 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hall of Famer Willie McCovey is expected back at the ballpark for the San Francisco Giants' NL Championship Series Game 3 against St. Louis on Tuesday after being released in recent days from Stanford Hospital, where he had been treated since last month following complications from an infection.

CEO Larry Baer was eager to share the great news with the players, who missed McCovey when he couldn't attend a ceremony to hand out the annual "Willie Mac Award" on Sept. 26 to pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
"How great is that? Huge. He really wanted to be here," Baer told The Associated Press. "He wanted his first trip out, in the clear from the hospital to be here, which is what it is. It's emotional, because people who saw him down there, he had some pretty extensive work done. But he's always been chipper, positive, no complaints from him. He has a really good support group."
The 76-year-old McCovey, a former first baseman and left fielder, 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 that 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.
This was believed to be the first time McCovey has missed the award presentation since its inception in 1980. 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.
McCovey has long been a regular for home games at AT&T Park, sitting in his own booth on the broadcast level. Baer said he would be recognized at some point during the game.
"I don't know when, but we're going to obviously salute him, recognize him," Baer said. "It took a lot of effort to get here. He would have it no other way, right?"

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