McCovey Cove

McCovey Cove (2002)

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.

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.

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 (Parc Jarry), 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.

Although there have been shark sightings in the bay, there have been no reported shark sightings in the cove.

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]

Giants fans on kayaks in McCovey Cove during the 2012 World Series

Splash hits

Panoramic view of McCovey Cove, August 2010.

"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 August 21, 2016, 71 "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, with seven "splash hits", Brandon Belt, with five, and six players with two each: Felipe Crespo, Michael Tucker, Ryan Klesko, Aubrey Huff, Andrés Torres and Brandon Crawford. Nine 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 hit one into-the-water foul.[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
1Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (1)May 1, 2000New York MetsRodriguez, RichRich Rodriguez
2Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (2)May 10, 2000St. Louis CardinalsBenes, AndyAndy Benes
3Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (3)May 10, 2000St. Louis CardinalsSlocumb, HeathcliffHeathcliff Slocumb
4Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (4)May 24, 2000Montreal ExposThurman, MikeMike Thurman
5Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (5)July 19, 2000San Diego PadresMeadows, BrianBrian Meadows
6Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (6)September 20, 2000Cincinnati RedsParris, SteveSteve Parris
7Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (7)April 17, 2001Los Angeles DodgersAdams, TerryTerry Adams
8Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (8)April 18, 2001Los Angeles DodgersPark, Chan HoChan Ho Park
9Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (9)May 24, 2001Colorado RockiesThomson, JohnJohn Thomson (1)
10Crespo, FelipeFelipe Crespo (1)May 28, 2001Arizona DiamondbacksPrinz, BretBret Prinz
11Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (10)May 30, 2001Arizona DiamondbacksEllis, RobertRobert Ellis
12Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (11)June 12, 2001Anaheim AngelsRapp, PatPat Rapp
13Crespo, FelipeFelipe Crespo (2)July 8, 2001Milwaukee BrewersLeskanic, CurtisCurtis Leskanic
14Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (12)August 4, 2001Philadelphia PhilliesFigueroa, NelsonNelson Figueroa
15Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (13)August 14, 2001Florida MarlinsBones, RickyRicky Bones
16Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (14)August 31, 2001Colorado RockiesThomson, JohnJohn Thomson (2)
17Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (15)September 29, 2001San Diego PadresMcElroy, ChuckChuck McElroy
18Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (16)May 13, 2002Atlanta BravesMillwood, KevinKevin Millwood
19Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (17)May 18, 2002Florida MarlinsPenny, BradBrad Penny
20Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (18)May 18, 2002Florida MarlinsDarensbourg, VicVic Darensbourg
21Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (19)September 8, 2002Arizona DiamondbacksAnderson, BrianBrian Anderson
22Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (20)September 28, 2002Houston AstrosRobertson, JeriomeJeriome Robertson
23Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (21)October 12, 2002St. Louis CardinalsFinley, ChuckChuck Finley
24Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (22)April 14, 2003Houston AstrosMiller, WadeWade Miller
25Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (23)April 30, 2003Chicago CubsClement, MattMatt Clement
26Snow, J. T.J. T. SnowJune 5, 2003Minnesota TwinsLohse, KyleKyle Lohse
27Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (24)June 27, 2003Oakland AthleticsLilly, TedTed Lilly
28Cruz, JoseJosé Cruz, Jr.July 8, 2003St. Louis CardinalsHaren, DanDan Haren
29Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (25)August 8, 2003Philadelphia PhilliesMesa, JoséJosé Mesa
30Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (26)August 19, 2003Atlanta BravesKing, RayRay King
31Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (27)September 13, 2003Milwaukee BrewersDavis, DougDoug Davis
32Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (28)April 12, 2004Milwaukee BrewersKinney, MattMatt Kinney
33Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (29)April 13, 2004Milwaukee BrewersFord, BenBen Ford
34Tucker, MichaelMichael Tucker (1)May 30, 2004Colorado RockiesKennedy, JoeJoe Kennedy
35Pierzynski, A. J.A. J. PierzynskiJuly 6, 2004Colorado RockiesStark, DennyDenny Stark
36Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (30)July 30, 2004St. Louis CardinalsCarpenter, ChrisChris Carpenter
37Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (31)August 3, 2004Cincinnati RedsLidle, CoryCory Lidle
38Tucker, MichaelMichael Tucker (2)April 9, 2005Colorado RockiesDohmann, ScottScott Dohmann
39Winn, RandyRandy WinnSeptember 14, 2005San Diego PadresWilliams, WoodyWoody Williams
40Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (32)September 18, 2005Los Angeles DodgersKuo, Hong-ChihHong-Chih Kuo
41Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (33)August 21, 2006Arizona DiamondbacksHernandez, LivanLiván Hernández (1)
42Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (34)April 18, 2007St. Louis CardinalsFranklin, RyanRyan Franklin
43Klesko, RyanRyan Klesko (1)May 21, 2007Houston AstrosMiller, TreverTrever Miller
44Klesko, RyanRyan Klesko (2)June 29, 2007Arizona DiamondbacksHernandez, LivanLiván Hernández (2)
45Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds (35)August 8, 2007Washington NationalsRedding, TimTim Redding
46Lewis, FredFred LewisApril 26, 2008Cincinnati RedsBelisle, MattMatt Belisle
47Bowker, JohnJohn BowkerJuly 2, 2008Chicago CubsDempster, RyanRyan Dempster
48Torres, AndresAndrés Torres (1)June 15, 2009Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimLackey, JohnJohn Lackey
49Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (1)July 30, 2009Philadelphia PhilliesLopez, RodrigoRodrigo López (1)
50Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (2)August 29, 2009Colorado RockiesMarquis, JasonJason Marquis
51Huff, AubreyAubrey Huff (1)May 1, 2010Colorado RockiesBetancourt, RafaelRafael Betancourt
52Huff, AubreyAubrey Huff (2)June 16, 2010Baltimore OriolesGuthrie, JeremyJeremy Guthrie
53Torres, AndresAndrés Torres (2)July 28, 2010Florida MarlinsSosa, JorgeJorge Sosa
54Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (3)August 12, 2010Chicago CubsWells, RandyRandy Wells
55Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (4)September 30, 2010Arizona DiamondbacksEnright, BarryBarry Enright
56Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (5)July 4, 2011San Diego PadresFrieri, ErnestoErnesto Frieri
57Schierholtz, NateNate SchierholtzJuly 8, 2011New York MetsDickey, R. A.R. A. Dickey
58Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (6)August 31, 2011Chicago CubsLopez, RodrigoRodrigo López (2)
59Beltran, CarlosCarlos BeltránSeptember 14, 2011San Diego PadresLatos, MatMat Latos
60Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (1)September 27, 2011Colorado RockiesWhite, AlexAlex White
61Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (2)June 14, 2012Houston AstrosRodríguez, WandyWandy Rodríguez
62Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (3)September 4, 2012Arizona DiamondbacksKennedy, IanIan Kennedy
63Sandoval, PabloPablo Sandoval (7)May 12, 2013Atlanta BravesMedlen, KrisKris Medlen
64Crawford, BrandonBrandon Crawford (1)April 13, 2014Colorado RockiesBrothers, RexRex Brothers
65Colvin, TylerTyler ColvinMay 12, 2014Atlanta BravesFloyd, GavinGavin Floyd
66Crawford, BrandonBrandon Crawford (2)May 14, 2014Atlanta BravesCarpenter, DavidDavid Carpenter
67Ishikawa, TravisTravis IshikawaSeptember 12, 2014Los Angeles DodgersCorreia, KevinKevin Correia
68Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (4)September 25, 2014San Diego PadresCashner, AndrewAndrew Cashner
69Belt, BrandonBrandon Belt (5)June 8, 2016Boston Red SoxPrice, DavidDavid Price
70Span, DenardDenard Span (1)June 13, 2016Milwaukee BrewersAnderson, ChaseChase Anderson
71Span, DenardDenard Span (2)August 20, 2016New York MetsColón, BartoloBartolo Colón

Other McCovey Cove hits

33 non-Giants players have hit the cove 42 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.[6]

No. Hitter Team Date Pitcher
1Hundley, ToddTodd HundleyLos Angeles DodgersJune 30, 2000Nen, RobbRobb Nen
2Gonzalez, LuisLuis Gonzalez (1)Arizona DiamondbacksSeptember 23, 2000Estes, ShawnShawn Estes
3Grace, MarkMark GraceArizona DiamondbacksMay 28, 2001Worrell, TimTim Worrell
4Gonzalez, LuisLuis Gonzalez (2)Arizona DiamondbacksMay 30, 2002Rueter, KirkKirk Rueter
5Klesko, RyanRyan KleskoSan Diego PadresApril 9, 2003Jensen, RyanRyan Jensen
6Choi, Hee-SeopHee-Seop ChoiFlorida MarlinsApril 30, 2004Correia, KevinKevin Correia (1)
7Patterson, CoreyCorey PattersonChicago CubsAugust 7, 2004Walker, TylerTyler Walker
8Floyd, CliffCliff Floyd (1)New York MetsAugust 21, 2004Tomko, BrettBrett Tomko (1)
9Branyan, RussellRussell BranyanMilwaukee BrewersApril 23, 2005Tomko, BrettBrett Tomko (2)
10Walker, LarryLarry WalkerSt. Louis CardinalsJuly 8, 2005Schmidt, JasonJason Schmidt
11Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (1)Florida MarlinsJuly 23, 2005Hennessey, BradBrad Hennessey
12Floyd, CliffCliff Floyd (2)New York MetsApril 25, 2006Wright, JameyJamey Wright
13Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (2)New York MetsApril 26, 2006Morris, MattMatt Morris (1)
14Delgado, CarlosCarlos Delgado (3)New York MetsMay 9, 2007Morris, MattMatt Morris (2)
15LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (1)Pittsburgh PiratesAugust 11, 2007Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (1)
16Berkman, LanceLance BerkmanHouston AstrosMay 15, 2008Chulk, VinnieVinnie Chulk
17Fielder, PrincePrince FielderMilwaukee BrewersJuly 19, 2008Matos, OsirisOsiris Matos
18Giles, BrianBrian GilesSan Diego PadresAugust 24, 2008Correia, KevinKevin Correia (2)
19Montero, MiguelMiguel MonteroArizona DiamondbacksSeptember 29, 2009Sanchez, JonathanJonathan Sánchez
20Ortiz, DavidDavid OrtizBoston Red SoxJune 27, 2010Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (2)
21LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (2)Arizona DiamondbacksAugust 27, 2010Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (3)
22LaRoche, AdamAdam LaRoche (3)Arizona DiamondbacksAugust 28, 2010Romo, SergioSergio Romo
23Ankiel, RickRick AnkielAtlanta BravesOctober 8, 2010Ramirez, RamonRamón Ramírez
24Navarro, DionerDioner NavarroLos Angeles DodgersJuly 20, 2011Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (4)
25Moreland, MitchMitch MorelandTexas RangersJune 9, 2012Vogelsong, RyanRyan Vogelsong (1)
26González, CarlosCarlos GonzálezColorado RockiesApril 8, 2013Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (1)
27Brown, DomonicDomonic BrownPhiladelphia PhilliesMay 6, 2013Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (2)
28McCann, BrianBrian McCannAtlanta BravesMay 10, 2013Cain, MattMatt Cain (1)
29González, CarlosCarlos González (2)Colorado RockiesMay 25, 2013Zito, BarryBarry Zito
30Jones, GarrettGarrett JonesPittsburgh PiratesAugust 22, 2013Cain, MattMatt Cain (2)
31González, CarlosCarlos González (3)Colorado RockiesApril 11, 2014Bumgarner, MadisonMadison Bumgarner (3)
32Grandal, YasmaniYasmani GrandalSan Diego PadresApril 30, 2014Hudson, TimTim Hudson (1)
33Freeman, FreddieFreddie FreemanAtlanta BravesMay 12, 2014López, JavierJavier López
34Granderson, CurtisCurtis GrandersonNew York MetsJune 8, 2014Lincecum, TimTim Lincecum (5)
35Dunn, AdamAdam DunnChicago White SoxAugust 13, 2014Peavy, JakeJake Peavy
36Dickerson, CoreyCorey DickersonColorado RockiesAugust 27, 2014Hudson, TimTim Hudson (2)
37Inciarte, EnderEnder InciarteArizona DiamondbacksSeptember 9, 2014Petit, YusmeiroYusmeiro Petit
38Harper, BryceBryce HarperWashington NationalsOctober 7, 2014Strickland, HunterHunter Strickland
39Asche, CodyCody AschePhiladelphia PhilliesJuly 11, 2015Vogelsong, RyanRyan Vogelsong (2)
40Zobrist, BenBen ZobristChicago CubsMay 20, 2016Kontos, GeorgeGeorge Kontos
41Pederson, JocJoc PedersonLos Angeles DodgersJune 12, 2016Strickland, HunterHunter Strickland (2)
42Granderson, CurtisCurtis Granderson (2)New York MetsAugust 19, 2016Cueto, JohnnyJohnny Cueto


  1. Purdy, Mark (May 9, 1999). "Honoring Him Wouldn't Take A Stretch". The San Jose Mercury News.
  2. McCovey Point | Ballpark
  3. "Splash Hits". San Francisco Giants official MLB site. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  4. Kroner, Steve (May 12, 2014). "Tyler Colvin powers Tim Lincecum's gem for Giants". SFGate. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  5. Vlad captures first Derby crown | News
  6. Colvin homers in first start as a Giants

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

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