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Padres history (May 20): Willie McCovey settles in

Willie McCovey wore a San Francisco hat into Cooperstown in 1986. After all, “Stretch” played the first 19 years of his career in the Giants organization, beginning in 1955 for their Class-D affiliate in Sandersville, Ga., and returned following a three-year hiatus to finish his Hall of Fame career in San Francisco.

His move to San Diego in 1974, however, was a welcome change for the 36-year-old McCovey.

“I feel like a rookie in my first big league camp,” he told the San Diego Union as he reported to Yuma for Padres spring training. “I spent 19 years in the Giants organization and I think I got into a rut.