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Remembrances of Willie McCovey

He’s not gone.

Barry Bond Attends San Francisco Giants Camp as a Spring Training Instructor

In just a couple of hours, Giants fans will gather at AT&T Park to celebrate the career and life of #44 Willie McCovey. For more info on the event, you can read the earlier post about it here; and, if you haven’t had a chance yet to read Grant Brisbee’s moving eulogy.

In the meantime, here’s just a quick look at what others have said and done to commemorate this baseball legend.

We’ll miss you, Stretch.

“McCovey would always come in, and he was always willing to ask questions. He was one of the guys,” he said. “You would talk with him, and it wasn’t so much ‘what I did’ and what was going on ‘back in the day’ that we can tend to hear about, and I’ll end up doing it too, but he would talk to you about what guys are thinking or what’s going on with the team. He was always trying to keep up to date with the game.

“He did a great job of relating to everybody and not just making it a sideshow of himself. That’s what everybody loved about Willie.”

  • I really thought this was a beautiful, simple, and moving tribute by the team:
  • You can feel the history...
  • The Chronicle posted a slide show of McCovey memories. Worth a quick look.
  • The Chronicle also wrote perhaps the definitive obituary of the legend. Steve Kroner and John Shea seemingly covered every significant moment of his life.
  • If you didn’t read Grant’s piece, then you probably missed Kevin’s comment:

“Mind if I watch the game with you?”

The first time I ever got a press pass to the big league team, it was Spring Training. I was covering the minors mostly even back then, but got the opportunity to get a major league press pass since the minor leaguers were of course also in Spring Training. And yet, Scottsdale Stadium still, in a way, feels remarkably like a lot of minor league stadiums. It’s a bit cramped, it’s beautiful but not at all imposing, though the press box did have better amenities. So stepping into the photographer’s box at the end of the dugout didn’t feel all that different, despite Barry, Rich, Ray, and others being not far away.

And then I hear his voice say “Mind if I watch the game with you?”

Willie was rolled into the photographer’s booth. He greeted and smiled at me, and I realized how Scottsdale had few accommodations for someone in a wheelchair, partially due to its age. So Willie was down there, next to me, and he was treating me like a colleague. When I say we had a conversation, it was mostly him telling stories, laughing a bit, telling me about the first time he met some of the current Giants (and giving them a hard time from afar). I didn’t get to spend the entire game with him, as I was moving around, but damn, that was such an amazing day. And above all, he just loved watching the game.

Willie McCovey was the first Hall of Famer I ever met in real life, and he was certainly the most unforgettable. I’m sorry to see him gone.

Thanks Grant for this wonderful reminder of just how strong he was.

You will be able to watch the ceremony live via, beginning at 11:30am Pacific.


Watch the entire ceremony (nearly two hours long) right here: