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.

Naming[edit]

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.

Features[edit]

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, 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.[citation needed]

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 July 8, 2018, 78 "splash hits" have 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 and Brandon Belt with eight each, Denard Span with five, and six players with two each: Felipe Crespo, Michael Tucker, Ryan Klesko, Aubrey Huff, Andrés Torres, and Brandon Crawford. Ten 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 did so on a foul ball.[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 Barry Bonds (1) May 1, 2000 New York Mets Rich Rodriguez
2 Barry Bonds (2) May 10, 2000 St. Louis Cardinals Andy Benes
3 Barry Bonds (3) May 10, 2000 St. Louis Cardinals Heathcliff Slocumb
4 Barry Bonds (4) May 24, 2000 Montreal Expos Mike Thurman
5 Barry Bonds (5) July 19, 2000 San Diego Padres Brian Meadows
6 Barry Bonds (6) September 20, 2000 Cincinnati Reds Steve Parris
7 Barry Bonds (7) April 17, 2001 Los Angeles Dodgers Terry Adams
8 Barry Bonds (8) April 18, 2001 Los Angeles Dodgers Chan Ho Park
9 Barry Bonds (9) May 24, 2001 Colorado Rockies John Thomson (1)
10 Felipe Crespo (1) May 28, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Bret Prinz
11 Barry Bonds (10) May 30, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Robert Ellis
12 Barry Bonds (11) June 12, 2001 Anaheim Angels Pat Rapp
13 Felipe Crespo (2) July 8, 2001 Milwaukee Brewers Curtis Leskanic
14 Barry Bonds (12) August 4, 2001 Philadelphia Phillies Nelson Figueroa
15 Barry Bonds (13) August 14, 2001 Florida Marlins Ricky Bones
16 Barry Bonds (14) August 31, 2001 Colorado Rockies John Thomson (2)
17 Barry Bonds (15) September 29, 2001 San Diego Padres Chuck McElroy
18 Barry Bonds (16) May 13, 2002 Atlanta Braves Kevin Millwood
19 Barry Bonds (17) May 18, 2002 Florida Marlins Brad Penny
20 Barry Bonds (18) May 18, 2002 Florida Marlins Vic Darensbourg
21 Barry Bonds (19) September 8, 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks Brian Anderson
22 Barry Bonds (20) September 28, 2002 Houston Astros Jeriome Robertson
23 Barry Bonds (21) October 12, 2002 St. Louis Cardinals Chuck Finley
24 Barry Bonds (22) April 14, 2003 Houston Astros Wade Miller
25 Barry Bonds (23) April 30, 2003 Chicago Cubs Matt Clement
26 J. T. Snow June 5, 2003 Minnesota Twins Kyle Lohse
27 Barry Bonds (24) June 27, 2003 Oakland Athletics Ted Lilly
28 José Cruz, Jr. July 8, 2003 St. Louis Cardinals Dan Haren
29 Barry Bonds (25) August 8, 2003 Philadelphia Phillies José Mesa
30 Barry Bonds (26) August 19, 2003 Atlanta Braves Ray King
31 Barry Bonds (27) September 13, 2003 Milwaukee Brewers Doug Davis
32 Barry Bonds (28) April 12, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers Matt Kinney
33 Barry Bonds (29) April 13, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers Ben Ford
34 Michael Tucker (1) May 30, 2004 Colorado Rockies Joe Kennedy
35 A. J. Pierzynski July 6, 2004 Colorado Rockies Denny Stark
36 Barry Bonds (30) July 30, 2004 St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter
37 Barry Bonds (31) August 3, 2004 Cincinnati Reds Cory Lidle
38 Michael Tucker (2) April 9, 2005 Colorado Rockies Scott Dohmann
39 Randy Winn September 14, 2005 San Diego Padres Woody Williams
40 Barry Bonds (32) September 18, 2005 Los Angeles Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo
41 Barry Bonds (33) August 21, 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks Liván Hernández (1)
42 Barry Bonds (34) April 18, 2007 St. Louis Cardinals Ryan Franklin
43 Ryan Klesko (1) May 21, 2007 Houston Astros Trever Miller
44 Ryan Klesko (2) June 29, 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks Liván Hernández (2)
45 Barry Bonds (35) August 8, 2007 Washington Nationals Tim Redding
46 Fred Lewis April 26, 2008 Cincinnati Reds Matt Belisle
47 John Bowker July 2, 2008 Chicago Cubs Ryan Dempster
48 Andrés Torres (1) June 15, 2009 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim John Lackey
49 Pablo Sandoval (1) July 30, 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Rodrigo López (1)
50 Pablo Sandoval (2) August 29, 2009 Colorado Rockies Jason Marquis
51 Aubrey Huff (1) May 1, 2010 Colorado Rockies Rafael Betancourt
52 Aubrey Huff (2) June 16, 2010 Baltimore Orioles Jeremy Guthrie
53 Andrés Torres (2) July 28, 2010 Florida Marlins Jorge Sosa
54 Pablo Sandoval (3) August 12, 2010 Chicago Cubs Randy Wells
55 Pablo Sandoval (4) September 30, 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks Barry Enright
56 Pablo Sandoval (5) July 4, 2011 San Diego Padres Ernesto Frieri
57 Nate Schierholtz July 8, 2011 New York Mets R. A. Dickey
58 Pablo Sandoval (6) August 31, 2011 Chicago Cubs Rodrigo López (2)
59 Carlos Beltrán September 14, 2011 San Diego Padres Mat Latos
60 Brandon Belt (1) September 27, 2011 Colorado Rockies Alex White
61 Brandon Belt (2) June 14, 2012 Houston Astros Wandy Rodríguez
62 Brandon Belt (3) September 4, 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy
63 Pablo Sandoval (7) May 12, 2013 Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen
64 Brandon Crawford (1) April 13, 2014 Colorado Rockies Rex Brothers
65 Tyler Colvin May 12, 2014 Atlanta Braves Gavin Floyd
66 Brandon Crawford (2) May 14, 2014 Atlanta Braves David Carpenter
67 Travis Ishikawa September 12, 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers Kevin Correia
68 Brandon Belt (4) September 25, 2014 San Diego Padres Andrew Cashner
69 Brandon Belt (5) June 8, 2016 Boston Red Sox David Price
70 Denard Span (1) June 13, 2016 Milwaukee Brewers Chase Anderson
71 Denard Span (2) August 20, 2016 New York Mets Bartolo Colón
72 Brandon Belt (6) May 13, 2017 Cincinnati Reds Lisalverto Bonilla
73 Brandon Belt (7) June 10, 2017 Minnesota Twins José Berríos
74 Denard Span (3) July 7, 2017 Miami Marlins Dan Straily[6]
75 Denard Span (4) July 19, 2017 Cleveland Indians Carlos Carrasco

[7]

76 Denard Span (5) September 11, 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers Kenta Maeda

[8]

77 Pablo Sandoval (8) April 4, 2018 Seattle Mariners Félix Hernández

[9]

78 Brandon Belt (8) May 15, 2018 Cincinnati Reds Tyler Mahle

Other McCovey Cove hits[edit]

35 non-Giants players have hit the cove 47 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. Current Major League baseball player Curtis Granderson and 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 at the time, the first being by Barry Bonds on October 12, 2002, in the National League Championship Series). David Ortiz, Mitch Moreland, and Adam Dunn are the only three American League players to hit the cove. Bryce Harper hit the water on the fly in the 7th inning of Game 4 of the 2014 National League Division Series on October 7, 2014 to tie the game.

Kevin Correia is the only pitcher to have given up a splash hit both as a Giant and as a visiting pitcher (while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014). On May 12, 2014, players from opposite teams hit home runs into McCovey Cove in the same game for the first time.[10]

No. Hitter Team Date Pitcher
1 Todd Hundley Los Angeles Dodgers June 30, 2000 Robb Nen
2 Luis Gonzalez (1) Arizona Diamondbacks September 23, 2000 Shawn Estes
3 Mark Grace Arizona Diamondbacks May 28, 2001 Tim Worrell
4 Luis Gonzalez (2) Arizona Diamondbacks May 30, 2002 Kirk Rueter
5 Ryan Klesko San Diego Padres April 9, 2003 Ryan Jensen
6 Hee-Seop Choi Florida Marlins April 30, 2004 Kevin Correia (1)
7 Corey Patterson Chicago Cubs August 7, 2004 Tyler Walker
8 Cliff Floyd (1) New York Mets August 21, 2004 Brett Tomko (1)
9 Russell Branyan Milwaukee Brewers April 23, 2005 Brett Tomko (2)
10 Larry Walker St. Louis Cardinals July 8, 2005 Jason Schmidt
11 Carlos Delgado (1) Florida Marlins July 23, 2005 Brad Hennessey
12 Cliff Floyd (2) New York Mets April 25, 2006 Jamey Wright
13 Carlos Delgado (2) New York Mets April 26, 2006 Matt Morris (1)
14 Carlos Delgado (3) New York Mets May 9, 2007 Matt Morris (2)
15 Adam LaRoche (1) Pittsburgh Pirates August 11, 2007 Tim Lincecum (1)
16 Lance Berkman Houston Astros May 15, 2008 Vinnie Chulk
17 Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers July 19, 2008 Osiris Matos
18 Brian Giles San Diego Padres August 24, 2008 Kevin Correia (2)
19 Miguel Montero Arizona Diamondbacks September 29, 2009 Jonathan Sánchez
20 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox June 27, 2010 Tim Lincecum (2)
21 Adam LaRoche (2) Arizona Diamondbacks August 27, 2010 Tim Lincecum (3)
22 Adam LaRoche (3) Arizona Diamondbacks August 28, 2010 Sergio Romo
23 Rick Ankiel Atlanta Braves October 8, 2010 Ramón Ramírez
24 Dioner Navarro Los Angeles Dodgers July 20, 2011 Tim Lincecum (4)
25 Mitch Moreland Texas Rangers June 9, 2012 Ryan Vogelsong (1)
26 Carlos González Colorado Rockies April 8, 2013 Madison Bumgarner (1)
27 Domonic Brown Philadelphia Phillies May 6, 2013 Madison Bumgarner (2)
28 Brian McCann Atlanta Braves May 10, 2013 Matt Cain (1)
29 Carlos González (2) Colorado Rockies May 25, 2013 Barry Zito
30 Garrett Jones Pittsburgh Pirates August 22, 2013 Matt Cain (2)
31 Carlos González (3) Colorado Rockies April 11, 2014 Madison Bumgarner (3)
32 Yasmani Grandal San Diego Padres April 30, 2014 Tim Hudson (1)
33 Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves May 12, 2014 Javier López
34 Curtis Granderson (1) New York Mets June 8, 2014 Tim Lincecum (5)
35 Adam Dunn Chicago White Sox August 13, 2014 Jake Peavy
36 Corey Dickerson Colorado Rockies August 27, 2014 Tim Hudson (2)
37 Ender Inciarte Arizona Diamondbacks September 9, 2014 Yusmeiro Petit
38 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals October 7, 2014 Hunter Strickland
39 Cody Asche Philadelphia Phillies July 11, 2015 Ryan Vogelsong (2)
40 Ben Zobrist Chicago Cubs May 20, 2016 George Kontos
41 Joc Pederson Los Angeles Dodgers June 12, 2016 Hunter Strickland (2)
42 Curtis Granderson (2) New York Mets August 19, 2016 Johnny Cueto (1)
43 Mike Moustakas Kansas City Royals June 14, 2017 Johnny Cueto (2)
44 Chase Utley Los Angeles Dodgers September 12, 2017 Johnny Cueto (3)
45 Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers September 13, 2017 Matt Moore
46 Matt Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals July 8, 2018 Ray Black
47 Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers September 30, 2018 Chris Stratton

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
  6. ^ http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2017/07/08/1587427783/1499489727694/asset_1800K.mp4
  7. ^ http://m.mlb.com/video/v1624204283
  8. ^ http://m.mlb.com/video/v1827662583
  9. ^ http://m.mlb.com/video/v1906902283
  10. ^ Colvin homers in first start as a Giants

External links[edit]

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