Willie McCovey, legendary Giants slugger and Alabama native, dead at 80

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 06: San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in […]

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SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball legend and longtime San Francisco Giants infielder Willie McCovey has died at the age of 80, the team said.

According to a tweet from the Giants, McCovey had ongoing health issues.

The Hall of Fame first baseman was being treated at Stanford Hospital where he died Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. McCovey, who nearly died from an infection four years ago, was fighting another one that sent him to the hospital last week.

Nicknamed “Stretch”, the 6-foot-4-inch McCovey, along with teammate Willie Mays, terrorized pitchers during the 13 seasons they played together on the Giants.

McCovey belted 521 home runs during his career and was a six-time All-Star.

His legacy lives on in San Francisco in the form of the “Willie Mac” Award, given to the team’s most inspirational player, and the watery landing zone for mammoth home runs behind the right field wall, McCovey Cove.

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