President Barack Obama has officially pardoned San Francisco Giants legend and Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey for a 1995 charge of tax evasion.

Obama Pardons Hall Of Fame Former Giants 1B Willie McCovey

McCovey, who turned 79 last week, is one of 273 individuals Obama is giving a second chance in one of his final actions as president before Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday.

McCovey earned $70,000 from autographs and memorabilia shows from 1988-1990, though he knowingly failed to report this income to the federal government. He served no jail time, but was fined $5,000 and sentenced to two years of probation.

The former Giants great expressed his gratitude to President Obama for the pardon, which was one of 64 issued on Tuesday.


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“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,” McCovey said in a statement released through the Giants. “He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future.”

McCovey spent 19 years with the Giants. He hit 469 of his 521 career home runs with them, and the cove outside of AT&T Park bears his name. He retired in 2980, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. His 521 homers tied him for eight all-time with Ted Williams at the time. His 18 Grand Slams remain a National League record.

Dodgers star Duke Snider also admitted to failing to report sports-related income in 1995, although he was not granted a posthumous pardon by President Obama (Snider died in 2011).

McCovey, an Alabama native, still works with the Giants as a senior adviser and goodwill ambassador.

On Tuesday, Obama also commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the US Army whistleblower who has been imprisoned for six years for leaking state secrets. Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years, and thus would have been released in 2045.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 02: Matt Duffy #5 of the San Francisco Giants, this year’s recepient of the Willie Mac Award, stands with the former Giants great Willie McCovey prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on October 2, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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