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Sports Then and Now



Willie McCovey 0

Posted on July 14, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Willie McCovey

Willie McCovey

Each week Sports Then and Now will recognize a Vintage Athlete of the Week. The purpose of this weekly post will be to celebrate and re-visit the accomplishments of notable athletes from past generations.

In honor of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, our first Athlete of the Week is a baseball great who was the hero of the Midsummer Classic 40 years ago.

Despite his immense stature (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), Willie McCovey was often overshadowed by more flamboyant teammates. He truly epitomized the concept of speaking softly and carrying a big stick as McCovey blasted 521 home runs during his 22-year major league career.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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