Sunday, September 25, 2011

1976 Hostess #124 - Willie McCovey

  • Willie McCovey was still a dangerous power hitter when this card was printed
  • McCovey wanted to play out his option in 1976 so the Padres cut his salary by 20% to $100,000.
  • The San Francisco Giants wanted Willie back before the 1976 season. The Giants had traded McCovey to the Padres in 1973 mainly for economic reasons.
  • McCovey had his poorest season in 1976. He played in 71 games for the Padres, starting 51 of those games at first base. Willie batted .203 with 7 HR and 36 RBI for the Padres.
  • Willie was sold to the Oakland A's on August 30.
  • McCovey wasn't sure if he would report to the A's at first, but he reported on September 1.
  • The A's used Willie as a DH and a pinch hitter in September, but Willie struggled and batted .208 (5 for 24) with no home runs or RBI.
  • After his poor 1976 season there wasn't very much interest in McCovey in the free agent  market. Willie ended up signing with the Giants for $50,000 and had a great year in 1977, winning Comeback Player of the Year honors and cementing his place as an eventual Hall of Famer.
  • Before peak, peak, or after peak? after peak

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