Willie McCovey

Ex-Giants infielder Matt Duffy reveals his Willie Mac Award was stolen

Ex-Giants infielder Matt Duffy reveals his Willie Mac Award was stolen

It's not an MVP, it's not a Gold Glove or even a Silver Slugger, but the Willie Mac Award carries just as much weight to the Giants. 

Every season, the Giants hand out the Willie Mac Award to the most inspirational player on the team. Matt Duffy, now with the Rays, was awarded the honor back in 2015. 

Duffy's award is safe and sound at his parents' house, but there's a catch: It's not the original version. 

"When I first got home after that offseason I put it in a storage unit briefly, and the storage unit got broken into and [the award] got stolen, so I had to get another one," Duffy said to reporters Tuesday in Oakland.

"I don't know where the original one is," Duffy continued. "I have no idea." 

Duffy is back in the Bay as his Rays take on the A's in the AL Wild Card Game in Oakland on Wednesday night. The 28-year-old is playing third base and batting fifth against left-hander Sean Manaea. 

[RELATED: History shows Giants could find star in draft at No. 13]

Duffy has battled injuries since being traded from the Giants to the Rays at the 2016 MLB trade deadline. He played in 42 games this season for Tampa Bay, batting .252 with eight doubles and one home run.

Ranking 10 best to play for both A's, Giants before Bay Bridge Series

Ranking 10 best to play for both A's, Giants before Bay Bridge Series

With the A's and Giants set to renew their rivalry this week in San Francisco, we figured this would be the perfect time to rank the best players to play for both teams during their career.

Some of these players spent less than a full season with the A's or Giants, but if they donned the uniform for even one game, we're counting them.

So without further ado, here are our top 10 players to suit up for both the A's and Giants. 


Brandon Belt consoles Willie McCovey's widow in Giants tribute

Brandon Belt consoles Willie McCovey's widow in Giants tribute

SAN FRANCISCO -- Emotions ran heavy Friday at the Giants' home opener before the first regular-season game, a 5-2 loss to the Rays, at the newly named Oracle Park. 

Manager Bruce Bochy was brought to tears in the last home opener of his career. Giants fans greeted Bochy with a raucous standing ovation before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch to infielder Pablo Sandoval. 

Former Giants owner Peter Magowan, who passed away in January at 76 years old, was also honored. Broadcaster Mike Krukow read a letter written by Magowan, which was supposed to be heard at Magowan's Wall of Fame induction.

Friday would have marked his 77th birthday. 

The heaviest of hearts, however, belonged to Estela McCovey, the widow of the late Giants great Willie McCovey

Prior to first pitch, the Giants played a tribute video of the Hall of Fame first baseman showing highlights of his 22-year MLB career, 19 of which came in San Francisco. "Willie 'Stretch' McCovey embodied what it means to be a Giant," Renel Brooks-Moon, the master of ceremonies, said as the video played.

At the conclusion of the video, an emotional Estela wrapped her left arm around Brandon Belt as she wiped away tears with her right. They were joined by daughter Allison McCovey and grandchildren Raven Jackson, P.J. Patrick and Marissa Patrick at first base. 

In honor of McCovey, Belt gifted the family the base with a special No. 44 covering the bag. As the family held onto the bag, Belt consoled a tearful Estela as the two wrapped their arms around each other.

"That was tough," Belt said. "It's tough to see anybody cry like that. It's hard to image what she's goin' through. I know it's gotta be tough for her. It was tough for me to sit there and watch his family go through that. 

"I just tried to assure them that Willie meant a lot to us in this organization. He means a lot to the Giants and he's gonna live on forever through the Giants." 

Willie married Estela, then his long-time girlfriend, on Aug. 2, 2018. The two were hitched at none other than the home of the Giants, making it the biggest Splash Hit he's seen. 

The first few years of Belt's MLB career, he shied away from the legend. Belt wanted to give Big Mac as much space as he wanted, but when he finally talked with Willie, he saw what he's been missing out on for years. 

"I realized he was the most humble, easy to talk to guy that I've ever seen," Belt said. "And I wish that I'd spent more time talking to him. Just an amazing guy and I think it I can say this for everybody -- he's definitely going to be missed." 

Belt is going into his ninth season as the Giants' starting first baseman. He has a ways to go to catch McCovey in that department. What he did for Estela, however, far outshines his future stats.