McCovey Cove

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

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

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.

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]

Splash hits

"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
1Barry Bonds (1)May 1, 2000New York MetsRich Rodriguez
2Barry Bonds (2)May 10, 2000St. Louis CardinalsAndy Benes
3Barry Bonds (3)May 10, 2000St. Louis CardinalsHeathcliff Slocumb
4Barry Bonds (4)May 24, 2000Montreal ExposMike Thurman
5Barry Bonds (5)July 19, 2000San Diego PadresBrian Meadows
6Barry Bonds (6)September 20, 2000Cincinnati RedsSteve Parris
7Barry Bonds (7)April 17, 2001Los Angeles DodgersTerry Adams
8Barry Bonds (8)April 18, 2001Los Angeles DodgersChan Ho Park
9Barry Bonds (9)May 24, 2001Colorado RockiesJohn Thomson (1)
10Felipe Crespo (1)May 28, 2001Arizona DiamondbacksBret Prinz
11Barry Bonds (10)May 30, 2001Arizona DiamondbacksRobert Ellis
12Barry Bonds (11)June 12, 2001Anaheim AngelsPat Rapp
13Felipe Crespo (2)July 8, 2001Milwaukee BrewersCurtis Leskanic
14Barry Bonds (12)August 4, 2001Philadelphia PhilliesNelson Figueroa
15Barry Bonds (13)August 14, 2001Florida MarlinsRicky Bones
16Barry Bonds (14)August 31, 2001Colorado RockiesJohn Thomson (2)
17Barry Bonds (15)September 29, 2001San Diego PadresChuck McElroy
18Barry Bonds (16)May 13, 2002Atlanta BravesKevin Millwood
19Barry Bonds (17)May 18, 2002Florida MarlinsBrad Penny
20Barry Bonds (18)May 18, 2002Florida MarlinsVic Darensbourg
21Barry Bonds (19)September 8, 2002Arizona DiamondbacksBrian Anderson
22Barry Bonds (20)September 28, 2002Houston AstrosJeriome Robertson
23Barry Bonds (21)October 12, 2002St. Louis CardinalsChuck Finley
24Barry Bonds (22)April 14, 2003Houston AstrosWade Miller
25Barry Bonds (23)April 30, 2003Chicago CubsMatt Clement
26J. T. SnowJune 5, 2003Minnesota TwinsKyle Lohse
27Barry Bonds (24)June 27, 2003Oakland AthleticsTed Lilly
28José Cruz, Jr.July 8, 2003St. Louis CardinalsDan Haren
29Barry Bonds (25)August 8, 2003Philadelphia PhilliesJosé Mesa
30Barry Bonds (26)August 19, 2003Atlanta BravesRay King
31Barry Bonds (27)September 13, 2003Milwaukee BrewersDoug Davis
32Barry Bonds (28)April 12, 2004Milwaukee BrewersMatt Kinney
33Barry Bonds (29)April 13, 2004Milwaukee BrewersBen Ford
34Michael Tucker (1)May 30, 2004Colorado RockiesJoe Kennedy
35A. J. PierzynskiJuly 6, 2004Colorado RockiesDenny Stark
36Barry Bonds (30)July 30, 2004St. Louis CardinalsChris Carpenter
37Barry Bonds (31)August 3, 2004Cincinnati RedsCory Lidle
38Michael Tucker (2)April 9, 2005Colorado RockiesScott Dohmann
39Randy WinnSeptember 14, 2005San Diego PadresWoody Williams
40Barry Bonds (32)September 18, 2005Los Angeles DodgersHong-Chih Kuo
41Barry Bonds (33)August 21, 2006Arizona DiamondbacksLiván Hernández (1)
42Barry Bonds (34)April 18, 2007St. Louis CardinalsRyan Franklin
43Ryan Klesko (1)May 21, 2007Houston AstrosTrever Miller
44Ryan Klesko (2)June 29, 2007Arizona DiamondbacksLiván Hernández (2)
45Barry Bonds (35)August 8, 2007Washington NationalsTim Redding
46Fred LewisApril 26, 2008Cincinnati RedsMatt Belisle
47John BowkerJuly 2, 2008Chicago CubsRyan Dempster
48Andrés Torres (1)June 15, 2009Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimJohn Lackey
49Pablo Sandoval (1)July 30, 2009Philadelphia PhilliesRodrigo López (1)
50Pablo Sandoval (2)August 29, 2009Colorado RockiesJason Marquis
51Aubrey Huff (1)May 1, 2010Colorado RockiesRafael Betancourt
52Aubrey Huff (2)June 16, 2010Baltimore OriolesJeremy Guthrie
53Andrés Torres (2)July 28, 2010Florida MarlinsJorge Sosa
54Pablo Sandoval (3)August 12, 2010Chicago CubsRandy Wells
55Pablo Sandoval (4)September 30, 2010Arizona DiamondbacksBarry Enright
56Pablo Sandoval (5)July 4, 2011San Diego PadresErnesto Frieri
57Nate SchierholtzJuly 8, 2011New York MetsR. A. Dickey
58Pablo Sandoval (6)August 31, 2011Chicago CubsRodrigo López (2)
59Carlos BeltránSeptember 14, 2011San Diego PadresMat Latos
60Brandon Belt (1)September 27, 2011Colorado RockiesAlex White
61Brandon Belt (2)June 14, 2012Houston AstrosWandy Rodríguez
62Brandon Belt (3)September 4, 2012Arizona DiamondbacksIan Kennedy
63Pablo Sandoval (7)May 12, 2013Atlanta BravesKris Medlen
64Brandon Crawford (1)April 13, 2014Colorado RockiesRex Brothers
65Tyler ColvinMay 12, 2014Atlanta BravesGavin Floyd
66Brandon Crawford (2)May 14, 2014Atlanta BravesDavid Carpenter
67Travis IshikawaSeptember 12, 2014Los Angeles DodgersKevin Correia
68Brandon Belt (4)September 25, 2014San Diego PadresAndrew Cashner
69Brandon Belt (5)June 8, 2016Boston Red SoxDavid Price
70Denard Span (1)June 13, 2016Milwaukee BrewersChase Anderson
71Denard Span (2)August 20, 2016New York MetsBartolo Colón
72Brandon Belt (6)May 13, 2017Cincinnati RedsLisalverto Bonilla
73Brandon Belt (7)June 10, 2017Minnesota TwinsJosé Berríos
74 Denard Span (3)July 7, 2017Miami MarlinsDan Straily[6]
75 Denard Span (4)July 19, 2017Cleveland IndiansCarlos Carrasco

[7]

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

[8]

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

[9]

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

Other McCovey Cove hits

34 non-Giants players have hit the cove 46 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
1Todd HundleyLos Angeles DodgersJune 30, 2000Robb Nen
2Luis Gonzalez (1)Arizona DiamondbacksSeptember 23, 2000Shawn Estes
3Mark GraceArizona DiamondbacksMay 28, 2001Tim Worrell
4Luis Gonzalez (2)Arizona DiamondbacksMay 30, 2002Kirk Rueter
5Ryan KleskoSan Diego PadresApril 9, 2003Ryan Jensen
6Hee-Seop ChoiFlorida MarlinsApril 30, 2004Kevin Correia (1)
7Corey PattersonChicago CubsAugust 7, 2004Tyler Walker
8Cliff Floyd (1)New York MetsAugust 21, 2004Brett Tomko (1)
9Russell BranyanMilwaukee BrewersApril 23, 2005Brett Tomko (2)
10Larry WalkerSt. Louis CardinalsJuly 8, 2005Jason Schmidt
11Carlos Delgado (1)Florida MarlinsJuly 23, 2005Brad Hennessey
12Cliff Floyd (2)New York MetsApril 25, 2006Jamey Wright
13Carlos Delgado (2)New York MetsApril 26, 2006Matt Morris (1)
14Carlos Delgado (3)New York MetsMay 9, 2007Matt Morris (2)
15Adam LaRoche (1)Pittsburgh PiratesAugust 11, 2007Tim Lincecum (1)
16Lance BerkmanHouston AstrosMay 15, 2008Vinnie Chulk
17Prince FielderMilwaukee BrewersJuly 19, 2008Osiris Matos
18Brian GilesSan Diego PadresAugust 24, 2008Kevin Correia (2)
19Miguel MonteroArizona DiamondbacksSeptember 29, 2009Jonathan Sánchez
20David OrtizBoston Red SoxJune 27, 2010Tim Lincecum (2)
21Adam LaRoche (2)Arizona DiamondbacksAugust 27, 2010Tim Lincecum (3)
22Adam LaRoche (3)Arizona DiamondbacksAugust 28, 2010Sergio Romo
23Rick AnkielAtlanta BravesOctober 8, 2010Ramón Ramírez
24Dioner NavarroLos Angeles DodgersJuly 20, 2011Tim Lincecum (4)
25Mitch MorelandTexas RangersJune 9, 2012Ryan Vogelsong (1)
26Carlos GonzálezColorado RockiesApril 8, 2013Madison Bumgarner (1)
27Domonic BrownPhiladelphia PhilliesMay 6, 2013Madison Bumgarner (2)
28Brian McCannAtlanta BravesMay 10, 2013Matt Cain (1)
29Carlos González (2)Colorado RockiesMay 25, 2013Barry Zito
30Garrett JonesPittsburgh PiratesAugust 22, 2013Matt Cain (2)
31Carlos González (3)Colorado RockiesApril 11, 2014Madison Bumgarner (3)
32Yasmani GrandalSan Diego PadresApril 30, 2014Tim Hudson (1)
33Freddie FreemanAtlanta BravesMay 12, 2014Javier López
34Curtis Granderson (1)New York MetsJune 8, 2014Tim Lincecum (5)
35Adam DunnChicago White SoxAugust 13, 2014Jake Peavy
36Corey DickersonColorado RockiesAugust 27, 2014Tim Hudson (2)
37Ender InciarteArizona DiamondbacksSeptember 9, 2014Yusmeiro Petit
38Bryce HarperWashington NationalsOctober 7, 2014Hunter Strickland
39Cody AschePhiladelphia PhilliesJuly 11, 2015Ryan Vogelsong (2)
40Ben ZobristChicago CubsMay 20, 2016George Kontos
41Joc PedersonLos Angeles DodgersJune 12, 2016Hunter Strickland (2)
42Curtis Granderson (2)New York MetsAugust 19, 2016Johnny Cueto (1)
43Mike MoustakasKansas City RoyalsJune 14, 2017Johnny Cueto (2)
44Chase UtleyLos Angeles DodgersSeptember 12, 2017Johnny Cueto (3)
45Cody BellingerLos Angeles DodgersSeptember 13, 2017Matt Moore
46Matt CarpenterSt. Louis CardinalsJuly 8, 2018Ray Black

References

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

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