Junior Giants Stretch Drive underway

Junior Giants Stretch Drive underway

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants on Thursday launched their sixth Junior Giants Stretch Drive, their annual fundraising effort to help area youth play baseball.

The Stretch Drive was created in honor of Hall of Fame first baseman Willie "Stretch" McCovey to help fund the Junior Giants baseball program for more than 21,000 children in 90 underserved communities.

In addition to McCovey, right fielder Hunter Pence has lent his name to help support the effort.

The recommended donation is $50, the cost of enabling one child to participate in the Junior Giants program throughout the summer.

Those giving $50 will receive a Pence bobblehead that features the diving catch that preserved Tim Lincecum's 2013 no-hitter at San Diego. Other rewards are given for higher donations, including a baseball autographed by McCovey and Pence ($440), a Pence-autographed bat ($1,500), a McCovey-autographed jersey ($4,400) and a meet-and-greet session with McCovey ($10,000).

To make a donation, visit jrgiants.org.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.