San Francisco Giants (1959–73)
In his Major League debut on July 30, 1959, McCovey went four-for-four against Hall-of-Famer Robin Roberts en route to a .354 batting average that year,
in which he won National League Rookie of the Year honors while playing in just 52 games.
Three years later, he helped the Giants to the 1962 World Series against the New York Yankees. Perhaps McCovey's best-known moment in baseball
came in the bottom of the 9th of Game 7, with 2 outs and the Giants trailing 1–0. With Willie Mays on second base and Matty Alou on third,
any base hit would likely have won the championship for the Giants. McCovey scorched a hard line drive that was snared by the Yankees'
second baseman Bobby Richardson, ending the series with a Yankees' win. That would turn out to be the closest McCovey would get to playing on a world championship team.
McCovey spent many years at the heart of the Giants' batting order along with fellow Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays. His best year statistically was 1969
when he hit 45 home runs, had 126 RBI and batted .320 to become the National League MVP.
In the early years of Candlestick Park, the Giants home stadium, the area behind right field was open except for three small bleacher sections.
When McCovey came to bat, typically those bleachers would empty as the fans positioned themselves on the flat ground hoping to catch a McCovey
home run ball – anticipating the gathering of boats in McCovey Cove, a generation later, when Barry Bonds would bat.