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<div id=”content_id”>SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Aside from that fearsome left-handed swing everybody knew http://www.chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-andre-dawson-jersey , he lived for many of his San Francisco Giants teammates year after year.“McCovey was our leader,” Gaylord Perry said as his fellow Hall of Famer was remembered in a celebration of his life Thursday at AT&T Park.McCovey died Oct. 31 at age 80 after suffering from ongoing health issues.Hall of Famers, former teammates and winners of the Willie Mac Award named for him attended on a picture-perfect day. McCovey’s 44 was written into the infield dirt next to his position at first base.The San Francisco Fire Department paid tribute with a spraying show from a boat in his namesake McCovey Cove in the bay beyond the right-field arcade. Bouquets of flowers were left on McCovey’s statue across the water.A first baseman and left fielder who won NL Rookie of the Year in 1959 and MVP 10 years later, McCovey was a .270 career hitter with 521 home runs and 1,555 RBIs in 22 major league seasons, 19 of them with the Giants. He also played for the Athletics and Padres.“What he did on the field, everybody knows what he did,” Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda said. “But as a human being, Willie McCovey was very special.”McCovey wore No. 44 to honor Hank Aaron — who like McCovey grew up in Mobile, Alabama.“If there is a second life, I’d like to come back as a major league baseball player,” McCovey once said.“Stretch,” as he was fondly known, never won a World Series after coming so close. The Giants lost the 1962 World Series to the New York Yankees, dropping Game 7 1-0 when McCovey lined out to second baseman Bobby Richardson with runners on second and third for the final out.“Willie’s indelible moment happened to be a screaming line drive that found Bobby Richardson’s glove in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said. “A few feet one way or another, people say, and Willie’s legacy rises to a whole different level. Well Ron Santo Jersey , I couldn’t disagree with that more. Even if that line drive had gotten past Bobby Richardson and driven in the winning run, that one heroic moment would never have defined Willie’s legacy. His legacy transcends baseball, transcends his six All-Star appearances, his Rookie of the Year award, his MVP, even his Hall of Fame induction.”McCovey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986 after his first time on the ballot.Those who played with him cherished McCovey for his thoughtful ways both on and off the field. Home run king Barry Bonds called him “Uncle Mac” ”because I’ve always admired him and he’s always taught me the game of baseball as much as Willie (Mays) and my dad have,” Bonds said Thursday.“I got to know Willie Mac the man,” said Felipe Alou, who was roommates with McCovey in the majors, minors and even winter ball in the Dominican Republic. “We came here in 1958 a bunch of kids. Willie obviously came up in ’59, another child, another kid. I have been a very privileged person, I got to play with five Hall of Famer players with the Giants.”Past Willie Mac Award winners in attendance included Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow, Dave Dravecky, Buster Posey, Jack Clark, Shawon Dunston, Nick Hundley Ernie Banks Jersey , Marvin Benard and Mike Felder.The honor is voted on by the players, coaches and training staff to recognize the Giants player who most exemplifies McCovey’s inspirational ways on the field and in the clubhouse.“I have never been around a more humble man and I’ve never been around someone who lifted up others around him more than himself,” Dravecky said. “I’ve never been around a man who loved so deeply and cared so much about wearing the Giants uniform. For Willie, he showed us the way.” Friday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium should be sponsored by the letter K, because there figures to be more than a few strikeouts.If young right-handers Walker Buehler of the Dodgers and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals pitch on Friday as they did Aug. 22 when they faced each other at Chavez Ravine, runs and solid contact might be at a premium in a game dripping with pennant-race pressure.Buehler (6-5, 3.09 ERA) fired seven shutout innings in that game against the Cardinals last month, permitting just three hits and two walks while whiffing nine. Flaherty (8-6, 2.92) owned a no-hitter until Joc Pederson cracked a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the sixth. It was the only hit Flaherty, who walked two and fanned 10, allowed in six innings.Article continues below …Los Angeles’ bullpen gave it up in the last two innings that night. Tyler O’Neill clouted a pinch-homer off Scott Alexander in the eighth and Paul DeJong drilled a tie-breaking two-run shot off Kenley Jansen in the ninth to give St. Louis a 3-1 win that polished off a series sweep.The Cardinals (81-66) lead the Dodgers (80-67) by one game in the race for the National League’s second wild-card spot, thanks to Los Angeles’ 9-7 win Thursday night. The Dodgers led wire-to-wire, including 8-1 at one point, yet couldn’t really exhale until Matt Adams grounded out to first as the potential tying run to end the game.Manny Machado starred for Los Angeles with three hits, including a double and his 34th homer of the year in the seventh inning.“I just tried to go up there and be myself, have quality at-bats,” Machado said to Sportsnet LA. “Every out, every pitch from now on counts. One play can turn things around http://www.chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-ryne-sandberg-jersey , so we have to be on top of it. We did everything we needed to do today.”The Dodgers, who at times have experienced terrible difficulties hitting with runners in scoring position over the last month, set the game’s tone with a great at-bat in that situation in the first inning. David Freese taxed rookie left-hander Austin Gomber for 14 pitches, fouling off nine of them, before lacing a two-run triple down the left-field line.Freese, who gets cheered during every at-bat in St. Louis because he was the 2011 World Series Most Valuable Player for the Cardinals, was acquired just before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline from Pittsburgh.“It’s always great coming back here and seeing the fans,” Freese said. “I’m excited to be a part of this. I’m on the back end of my career, sitting at 35 years old.”One of Freese’s former Cardinals teammates made his way back into the lineup Thursday night for this big series. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina (hamstring) missed six games, and probably isn’t 100 percent, but St. Louis wanted him back in there.The Cardinals plan for him to catch every game in the series except for Saturday, which is a 12:05 p.m. start after the Friday night game.“He’s very confident he can regulate himself in what he’s doing so not to have a setback, which we clearly don’t need,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said of Molina.</div>
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