SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, July 3, Willie McCovey’s statue was not present during the San Francisco Giants first practice of summer camp as the team geared up for the state of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

According to The SF Chronicle, the Giants removed the Willie McCovey statue to avoid it getting damaged by an upcoming construction project. Before its removal, the statue of McCovey was located at McCovey Point in China Basin Park which his across from McCovey Cove. The statue has been there for 17 years.

Mark Inabinett from, reported that it may take a few years before the statue is returned to its original location.

“The Giants don’t expect it to reappear until 2023, when the initial phase of the waterfront project should be finished,” said Inabinett.

McCovey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. The first baseman spent 19 years with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants retired his number 44 jersey in 1980. After his career, he became a senior advisor for 18 years. McCovey passed away in 2018.

There are four other statues that are linked to Oracle Park. The others include statues of Willie Mays, Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, and Juan Marichal.

The San Francisco Giants have not responded to inquiries from the San Francisco News.