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Hall of Famer Willie McCovey dies at 80 after battling ongoing health issues

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The Giants sadly announced on Wednesday that Giants Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey has died at the age of 80 after a battle with ongoing health issues. According to Steve Kroner and John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, McCovey battled a serious infection that nearly killed him four years ago and recently developed another one which hospitalized him last week.

McCovey played 22 seasons in the majors, 19 of which were with the Giants. He spent another two and a half with the Padres and had a brief stint with the Athletics. He retired batting .270/.374/.515 with 521 home runs and 1,555 RBI in 2,588 games. Currently, he is tied for 20th place on the all-time home run leaderboard with Frank Thomas and Ted Williams.

Along with being a Hall of Famer, McCovey won the 1959 NL Rookie of the Year Award, made the All-Star team six times and won the All-Star MVP award in 1969, and won the NL MVP Award in ’69 as well.

The Giants never won a World Series during McCovey’s career, but he helped bring them close in 1962 when the Giants lost the World Series in seven games to the Yankees. McCovey’s No. 44 was retired by the Giants and they unofficially named the area beyond the right field wall at AT&T Park “McCovey Cove.” McCovey also has a statue at China Basin Park, which is on the other side of the cove.

Rays place Austin Meadows on 10-day injured list with thumb sprain

Austin Meadows
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Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.

Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.

Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.

In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.