Hall of Famer Willie McCovey Receives Presidential Pardon from Obama

US President Barack Obama has scrapped rules dating back to the 1960s which allowed those fleeing communist Cuba a fast track to US citizenship

Not everyone who received a pardon or had their sentence commuted by President Barack Obama on Tuesday was a traitor who betrayed the public trust and leaked potentially damaging national security information to the world, a baseball legend had his name cleared as well.

Hall of Famer Willie McCovey became one of 64 people to receive a pardon from the outgoing president. The former Giants player and current Giants senior adviser plead guilty along with fellow Hall of Famer Duke Snider to tax evasion in 1995. McCovey had failed to report income he collected from memorabilia shows, resulting in two years of probation and a $5,000 fine

Duke Snider passed away in 2011.

McCovey voiced his thanks and appreciation to Obama, “I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Obama not only for this kind gesture on my behalf, but also for his tireless service to all Americans. He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future.”

According to the New York Times, McCovey told a federal judge in 1996 that, “…I’ve always tried to do the right things. I have never willingly tried to cheat the government, and it’s one of those things that was overlooked at the time and I do accept responsibility for it.”

McCover played for every California team except the Angels and the Dodgers over his 22 years in baseball. He hit 521 home runs and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1986.

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