Tuesday, May 15, 2012
no. 50 - willie mc covey
Who is the man: Willie McCovey had just completed his last great season in 1970. After the 1970 season, he'd have some good years, but the monstrous years for which he was known in the late 1960s were behind him.
Can ya dig it: Even though McCovey is cut off at the waist in this photo, you really get a feel for how tall "Stretch" is. He looks like he's eyeing a baseball that is 8 feet off the ground.
Right on: McCovey's most famous moment, his wicked line drive that was caught to end the 1962 World Series and immortalized forever in a Peanuts comic strip, will be 50 years old this fall.
You see this cat McCovey is a bad mother: Two of the baddest pitchers in baseball history -- Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson -- were intimidated by McCovey. Don Sutton said of Drysdale "In the four-and-a-half years I played with Don, I think McCovey is the only player he was afraid of physically." Gibson called McCovey "the scariest hitter in baseball."
Shut your mouth: McCovey claims that when he watches a game in person now, he is there for the duration. "I'm not one of those who leaves in the sixth inning," he said. "Those are Dodger fans. We don't do that up here."
Willie, this Dodger fan has never left a game early in his life.
No one understands him but his woman: McCovey, 74, has spent much of his later life in a wheelchair because of abundant knee surgeries. But in rehab recently, he met his girlfriend, a 39-year-old from the Philippines, who took over his treatment.
(A word about the back): A mere 126 RBIs in 495 at-bats. That's pretty damn good.