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SAN DIEGO -– The Willie Mac Award is a season highlight every year. It might be a somber occasion this time.
Giants great Willie McCovey is being hospitalized in the Bay Area to treat a serious infection, the club confirmed in a statement on Friday.
“He is being treated at a local hospital and his recovery is progressing every day,” the statement said. “The Giants remain in close contact with Willie and his family and urge all fans to keep Willie in their thoughts as he recovers.”
McCovey has battled debilitating knee and back problems over several decades. He endured a 12-hour spinal surgery in 2010 and used attending the Willie Mac ceremony as motivation while doing his rehab exercises. He met his goal, and there were many tearful eyes when he presented the most inspirational award that bears his name to Andres Torres.
The Giants are scheduled to recognize this year’s winner next Friday at AT&T Park.
McCovey, 76, hit 521 home runs in a Hall of Fame career, the majority in which he formed one of baseball’s all-time greatest 3-4 combinations with Willie Mays. McCovey is a fixture at Giants games and never misses at least watching on television.
The Giants encouraged fans to send wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org or post letters to Willie McCovey c/o San Francisco Giants, San Francisco CA 94107.