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BASEBALL EXTRA

A Different Light : Salmon's Thoughts Are With Wife, Who Has Thyroid Cancer

May 25, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TORONTO — Angel right fielder Tim Salmon got what he called "a reality check" this past week when his wife, Marci, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

"It was a shellshocking revelation," said Salmon, who did not attend the Angels' game against Seattle in Anaheim Wednesday night but returned for this weekend's series in Toronto.

"But we've met with the doctors, and they've eased our minds about it. This is something they can treat. It's not something that's terminal. But it definitely puts things in perspective."

Marci Salmon, 29, noticed her neck was swollen last week, and an ultrasound led doctors to perform a biopsy, which confirmed the cancer Wednesday.

She is scheduled to undergo surgery June 2 to have her thyroid removed, and her follow-up treatment will consist primarily of radiation tablets, Salmon said. Doctors have told the Salmons there is a 90% success rate associated with the procedure.

"It's a major surgery, but it's fairly common," Salmon said. "The doctors said she's going to be all right, that she will live a normal life."

Salmon is hardly a raucous clubhouse presence, but he seemed subdued by even his standards before Friday's game in Toronto, spending a good amount of time curled up in his locker reading a book.

Then he went out and had four hits, including three RBI singles, in the Angels' 12-2 victory over the Blue Jays. Salmon went 0 for 2 with two walks in Saturday's 3-1 Angel victory.

"I don't know how this will translate into my game," said Salmon, who signed a four-year, $22.5-million contract extension this spring. "Maybe I'll be a little more mellow. Maybe I'll funnel my intensity a little more."

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