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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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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month pitched in four decades, was a veteran of World War II and is one of only two pitchers to finish with exactly 300 career victories.

      Hall of Famer Early Wynn began his career as a 19-year old in 1939 by pitching three games for the Washington Senators. After spending the 1940 season in the minors, he went 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in a brief stint in the majors in 1941.

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