|Saturday, March 15
Source: McGraw moved to Tampa cancer center
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tug McGraw was transferred to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a source close to the former star pitcher told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Two other sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the tumor was malignant. The doctors found at least two tumors, and doctors were doing further tests to determine if they can operate, one of the sources said.
The 58-year-old McGraw was hospitalized on Wednesday, a day after he was with the Philadelphia Phillies for their game against Cleveland. McGraw, who helped the New York Mets and Phillies win World Series titles during his 19 seasons in the major leagues, has been a special spring training instructor for Philadelphia the last two years.
McGraw is the father of Tim McGraw, the country music star who was scheduled to take batting practice with the Phillies on Friday. The session was canceled, but Tim McGraw's concert in St. Petersburg went on that night.
Best known for his zany antics and playful personality, the left-handed McGraw was an outstanding relief pitcher, compiling a 96-92 with a 3.14 ERA and 180 saves in his career. He pitched for the Mets from 1965 to 1974 and the Phillies from 1975 to 1984.
McGraw coined the phrase "You Gotta Believe" with the Mets during their improbable pennant run in 1973, and later closed out the Phillies' only World Series championship in 1980.
McGraw is best remembered in Philadelphia for striking out Kansas City's Willie Wilson to end Game 6 and clinch the title.
McGraw and Phillies chairman Bill Giles were scheduled to team up to deliver the first ball of the new season for the Phillies' final home opener at Veterans Stadium on April 4. The two practiced the stunt earlier in spring training, with Giles dropping three baseballs from a helicopter to McGraw.
In honor of McGraw, Phillies pitching Joe Kerrigan changed his number from McGraw's old No. 45 to 16 on Saturday.