McCovey Cove

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McCovey Cove (2002)

McCovey Cove is the unofficial name of a section of San Francisco Bay beyond the right field wall of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, named after famed Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. The proper name for the cove is China Basin, which is the mouth of Mission Creek as it meets the bay. The cove is bounded along the north by AT&T Park, with a ferry landing and a breakwater at the northeast end. The southern shore is lined by China Basin Park and McCovey Point. To the east, it opens up to San Francisco Bay, while the west end of the cove is bounded by the Lefty O'Doul Bridge, named after San Francisco ballplayer and manager Lefty O'Doul.

The name was coined thanks to two sportswriters. Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News wrote an article suggesting naming the body of water after McCovey, though his original suggestions were 'McCovey Channel,' 'McCovey Stream' or 'McCovey Run.' Purdy then noted the more 'lyrical' name of 'McCovey Cove' was suggested by his colleague Leonard Koppett, a writer for the Oakland Tribune.[1] The name did not take long to become very popular, although the moniker has never become official.

On game days, fans take to the water of McCovey Cove in boats and even in kayaks, often with fishing nets in the hope of collecting a home run ball. This echoes what used to happen during McCovey's playing days. Before Candlestick Park's upper deck was extended, the area behind right field was occupied by three small bleacher sections and a lot of open space. Kids in those bleachers would gather behind the right field fence when "Stretch" would come to the plate. There may also be a link to the fact that Willie McCovey was one of only a few that hit home runs over the scoreboard and into a public swimming pool at Montreal's Jarry Park (Parc Jarry), the Expos' home from 1969 to 1976. The fact that balls can be hit into a water basin over the right field wall in San Francisco is somewhat of a tribute/salute to Willie McCovey's legend when he visited Montreal.

Just beyond the wall is a public waterfront promenade, where fans can watch the game through the wall's archways, free of charge, albeit with a somewhat obstructed view. Across the cove from the ballpark is McCovey Point and China Basin Park, featuring a statue of McCovey at the mouth of the Cove. At his feet are small plaques commemorating the winners of the Willie Mac Award, named in McCovey's honor. Along the southern shore of the cove, between McCovey Point and the O'Doul Bridge, is a walkway featuring plaques showing the Opening Day Roster of every Giants team from 1958 through 1999. Just south of the statue of Willie McCovey is Barry Bonds Junior Giants Field, a t-ball sized baseball diamond.[2]

Giants fans on kayaks in McCovey Cove during the 2012 World Series

Splash hits[edit]

Panoramic view of McCovey Cove, August 2010.

"Splash hits" are recorded only when Giants players hit home runs that land in McCovey Cove on the fly. These hits are tallied on an electronic counter on the right field wall. As of May 12, 2014, 66 "splash hits" had been hit into the Bay by Giants players since the park opened; 35 of those were by Barry Bonds.[3] The only Giants other than Bonds to have reached the Cove more than once are Pablo Sandoval, with seven "splash hits" to date, Brandon Belt, with three, and six players with two each: Felipe Crespo, Michael Tucker, Ryan Klesko, Aubrey Huff, Andrés Torres and Brandon Crawford. Nine other Giants' players have accomplished the feat just once. Carlos Beltrán's "Splash Hit" on September 14, 2011, marked his 300th career home run. Klesko is currently the only player to have splash hits as both a Giant and as an opposing player through the 2012 season. Tyler Colvin's "splash hit" on May 12, 2014, was also his first hit for the Giants and came off his first at bat at AT&T Park since joining the team.[4]

When AT&T Park hosted the 2007 Home Run Derby, McCovey Cove was heavily featured in promotional materials, and the namesake slugger presented each participant with special bats before the competition. However, the difficulty of hitting McCovey Cove with a home run was shown, as none of the eight sluggers competing were able to hit water, and all four left-handed batters (who are more likely to hit home runs to right field, and thus, to the Cove) were eliminated in the first round of the contest. The only player to hit water was Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, who hit one into-the-water foul.[5] Fielder would eventually hit McCovey Cove with a fair ball on July 20, 2008, as the 17th visiting player to hit a home run into the Cove.

No right-handed hitter has ever hit an opposite field home run into McCovey Cove, though Giants catcher Buster Posey has come close several times.

No. Player Date Opponent Pitcher
1 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (1) May 1, 2000 New York Mets Rodriguez, RichRich Rodriguez
2 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (2) May 10, 2000 St. Louis Cardinals Benes, AndyAndy Benes
3 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (3) May 10, 2000 St. Louis Cardinals Slocumb, HeathcliffHeathcliff Slocumb
4 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (4) May 24, 2000 Montreal Expos Thurman, MikeMike Thurman
5 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (5) July 19, 2000 San Diego Padres Meadows, BrianBrian Meadows
6 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (6) September 20, 2000 Cincinnati Reds Parris, SteveSteve Parris
7 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (7) April 17, 2001 Los Angeles Dodgers Adams, TerryTerry Adams
8 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (8) April 18, 2001 Los Angeles Dodgers Park, Chan HoChan Ho Park
9 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (9) May 24, 2001 Colorado Rockies Thomson, JohnJohn Thomson (1)
10 Crespo, FelipeFelipe Crespo (1) May 28, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Prinz, BretBret Prinz
11 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (10) May 30, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Ellis, RobertRobert Ellis
12 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (11) June 12, 2001 Anaheim Angels Rapp, PatPat Rapp
13 Crespo, FelipeFelipe Crespo (2) July 8, 2001 Milwaukee Brewers Leskanic, CurtisCurtis Leskanic
14 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (12) August 4, 2001 Philadelphia Phillies Figueroa, NelsonNelson Figueroa
15 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (13) August 14, 2001 Florida Marlins Bones, RickyRicky Bones
16 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (14) August 31, 2001 Colorado Rockies Thomson, JohnJohn Thomson (2)
17 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (15) September 29, 2001 San Diego Padres McElroy, ChuckChuck McElroy
18 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (16) May 13, 2002 Atlanta Braves Millwood, KevinKevin Millwood
19 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (17) May 18, 2002 Florida Marlins Penny, BradBrad Penny
20 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (18) May 18, 2002 Florida Marlins Darensbourg, VicVic Darensbourg
21 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (19) September 8, 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks Anderson, BrianBrian Anderson
22 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (20) September 28, 2002 Houston Astros Robertson, JeriomeJeriome Robertson
23 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (21) October 12, 2002 St. Louis Cardinals Finley, ChuckChuck Finley
24 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (22) April 14, 2003 Houston Astros Miller, WadeWade Miller
25 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (23) April 30, 2003 Chicago Cubs Clement, MattMatt Clement
26 Snow, J. T.J. T. Snow June 5, 2003 Minnesota Twins Lohse, KyleKyle Lohse
27 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (24) June 27, 2003 Oakland Athletics Lilly, TedTed Lilly
28 Cruz, JoseJosé Cruz, Jr. July 8, 2003 St. Louis Cardinals Haren, DanDan Haren
29 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (25) August 8, 2003 Philadelphia Phillies Mesa, JoséJosé Mesa
30 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (26) August 19, 2003 Atlanta Braves King, RayRay King
31 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (27) September 13, 2003 Milwaukee Brewers Davis, DougDoug Davis
32 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (28) April 12, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers Kinney, MattMatt Kinney
33 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (29) April 13, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers Ford, BenBen Ford
34 Tucker, MichaelMichael Tucker (1) May 30, 2004 Colorado Rockies Kennedy, JoeJoe Kennedy
35 Pierzynski, A. J.A. J. Pierzynski July 6, 2004 Colorado Rockies Stark, DennyDenny Stark
36 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (30) July 30, 2004 St. Louis Cardinals Carpenter, ChrisChris Carpenter
37 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (31) August 3, 2004 Cincinnati Reds Lidle, CoryCory Lidle
38 Tucker, MichaelMichael Tucker (2) April 9, 2005 Colorado Rockies Dohmann, ScottScott Dohmann
39 Winn, RandyRandy Winn September 14, 2005 San Diego Padres Williams, WoodyWoody Williams
40 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (32) September 18, 2005 Los Angeles Dodgers Kuo, Hong-ChihHong-Chih Kuo
41 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (33) August 21, 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks Hernandez, LivanLiván Hernández (1)
42 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (34) April 18, 2007 St. Louis Cardinals Franklin, RyanRyan Franklin
43 Klesko, RyanRyan Klesko (1) May 21, 2007 Houston Astros Miller, TreverTrever Miller
44 Klesko, RyanRyan Klesko (2) June 29, 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks Hernandez, LivanLiván Hernández (2)
45 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (35) August 8, 2007 Washington Nationals Redding, TimTim Redding
46 Lewis, FredFred Lewis April 26, 2008 Cincinnati Reds Belisle, MattMatt Belisle
47 Bowker, JohnJohn Bowker July 2, 2008 Chicago Cubs Dempster, RyanRyan Dempster
48 Torres, AndresAndrés Torres (1) June 15, 2009 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Lackey, JohnJohn Lackey
49 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (1) July 30, 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Lopez, RodrigoRodrigo López (1)
50 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (2) August 29, 2009 Colorado Rockies Marquis, JasonJason Marquis
51 Huff, AubreyAubrey Huff (1) May 1, 2010 Colorado Rockies Betancourt, RafaelRafael Betancourt
52 Huff, AubreyAubrey Huff (2) June 16, 2010 Baltimore Orioles Guthrie, JeremyJeremy Guthrie
53 Torres, AndresAndrés Torres (2) July 28, 2010 Florida Marlins Sosa, JorgeJorge Sosa
54 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (3) August 12, 2010 Chicago Cubs Wells, RandyRandy Wells
55 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (4) September 30, 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks Enright, BarryBarry Enright
56 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (5) July 4, 2011 San Diego Padres Frieri, ErnestoErnesto Frieri
57 Schierholtz, NateNate Schierholtz July 8, 2011 New York Mets Dickey, R. A.R. A. Dickey
58 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (6) August 31, 2011 Chicago Cubs Lopez, RodrigoRodrigo López (2)
59 Beltran, CarlosCarlos Beltrán September 14, 2011 San Diego Padres Latos, MatMat Latos
60 Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (1) September 27, 2011 Colorado Rockies White, AlexAlex White
61 Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (2) June 14, 2012 Houston Astros Rodríguez, WandyWandy Rodríguez
62 Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (3) September 4, 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks Kennedy, IanIan Kennedy
63 Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (7) May 12, 2013 Atlanta Braves Medlen, KrisKris Medlen
64 Crawford, BrandonBrandon Crawford April 13, 2014 Colorado Rockies Brothers, RexRex Brothers
65 Colvin, TylerTyler Colvin May 12, 2014 Atlanta Braves Floyd, GavinGavin Floyd
66 Crawford, BrandonBrandon Crawford (2) May 14, 2014 Atlanta Braves Carpenter, DavidDavid Carpenter

Other McCovey Cove hits[edit]

21 non-Giants players have hit the cove 31 times. Of visiting players who have hit the cove, Carlos Delgado, Carlos González and Adam LaRoche have performed the feat the most, doing it three times each. Former Major League baseball players Luis Gonzalez and Cliff Floyd are the only other visiting players to do so twice. Rick Ankiel hit the water on the fly in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the 2010 National League Division Series on October 8, 2010; his run would go on to be the winning run for the Atlanta Braves (this was only the 2nd home run ball hit into McCovey Cove in a postseason game, the first being by Barry Bonds on October 12, 2002, in the National League Championship Series). David Ortiz and Mitch Moreland are the only two American League players to hit the cove.

No. Hitter Team Date Pitcher
1 Hundley, ToddTodd Hundley Los Angeles Dodgers June 30, 2000 Nen, RobbRobb Nen
2 Gonzalez, LuisLuis Gonzalez (1) Arizona Diamondbacks September 23, 2000 Estes, ShawnShawn Estes
3 Grace, MarkMark Grace Arizona Diamondbacks May 28, 2001 Worrell, TimTim Worrell
4 Gonzalez, LuisLuis Gonzalez (2) Arizona Diamondbacks May 30, 2002 Rueter, KirkKirk Rueter
5 Klesko, RyanRyan Klesko San Diego Padres April 9, 2003 Jensen, RyanRyan Jensen
6 Choi, Hee-SeopHee-Seop Choi Florida Marlins April 30, 2004 Correia, KevinKevin Correia (1)
7 Patterson, CoreyCorey Patterson Chicago Cubs August 7, 2004 Walker, TylerTyler Walker
8 Floyd, CliffCliff Floyd (1) New York Mets August 21, 2004 Tomko, BrettBrett Tomko (1)
9 Branyan, RussellRussell Branyan Milwaukee Brewers April 23, 2005 Tomko, BrettBrett Tomko (2)
10 Walker, LarryLarry Walker St. Louis Cardinals July 8, 2005 Schmidt, JasonJason Schmidt
11 Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (1) Florida Marlins July 23, 2005 Hennessey, BradBrad Hennessey
12 Floyd, CliffCliff Floyd (2) New York Mets April 25, 2006 Wright, JameyJamey Wright
13 Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (2) New York Mets April 26, 2006 Morris, MattMatt Morris (1)
14 Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (3) New York Mets May 9, 2007 Morris, MattMatt Morris (2)
15 LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (1) Pittsburgh Pirates August 11, 2007 Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (1)
16 Berkman, LanceLance Berkman Houston Astros May 15, 2008 Chulk, VinnieVinnie Chulk
17 Fielder, PrincePrince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers July 19, 2008 Matos, OsirisOsiris Matos
18 Giles, BrianBrian Giles San Diego Padres August 24, 2008 Correia, KevinKevin Correia (2)
19 Montero, MiguelMiguel Montero Arizona Diamondbacks September 29, 2009 Sanchez, JonathanJonathan Sánchez
20 Ortiz, DavidDavid Ortiz Boston Red Sox June 27, 2010 Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (2)
21 LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (2) Arizona Diamondbacks August 27, 2010 Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (3)
22 LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (3) Arizona Diamondbacks August 28, 2010 Romo, SergioSergio Romo
23 Ankiel, RickRick Ankiel Atlanta Braves October 8, 2010 Ramirez, RamonRamón Ramírez
24 Navarro, DionerDioner Navarro Los Angeles Dodgers July 20, 2011 Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (4)
25 Moreland, MitchMitch Moreland Texas Rangers June 9, 2012 Vogelsong, RyanRyan Vogelsong
26 González, CarlosCarlos González Colorado Rockies April 8, 2013 Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (1)
27 Brown, DomonicDomonic Brown Philadelphia Phillies May 6, 2013 Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (2)
28 McCann, BrianBrian McCann Atlanta Braves May 10, 2013 Cain, MattMatt Cain (1)
29 González, CarlosCarlos González (2) Colorado Rockies May 25, 2013 Zito, BarryBarry Zito
30 Jones, GarrettGarrett Jones Pittsburgh Pirates August 22, 2013 Cain, MattMatt Cain (2)
31 González, CarlosCarlos González (3) Colorado Rockies April 11, 2014 Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (3)
32 Grandal, YasmaniYasmani Grandal San Diego Padres April 30, 2014 Hudson, TimTim Hudson
33 Freeman, FreddieFreddie Freeman Atlanta Braves May 12, 2014 López, JavierJavier López
34 Granderson, CurtisCurtis Granderson New York Mets June 8, 2014 Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (5)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Purdy, Mark (May 9, 1999). "Honoring Him Wouldn't Take A Stretch". The San Jose Mercury News. 
  2. ^ McCovey Point | SFGiants.com: Ballpark
  3. ^ "Splash Hits". San Francisco Giants official MLB site. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ Kroner, Steve (May 12, 2014). "Tyler Colvin powers Tim Lincecum's gem for Giants". SFGate. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Vlad captures first Derby crown | MLB.com: News

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°46′38″N 122°23′17″W / 37.77722°N 122.38806°W / 37.77722; -122.38806