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Ex-Phillie McGraw Has Brain Cancer

March 15, 2003|From Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Tug McGraw was diagnosed with brain cancer and doctors were trying to determine if they could operate, a source close to the former relief pitcher said Friday.

The doctors found at least two tumors, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by a second source close to McGraw, also on condition of anonymity.

"This reminds you how short life is," said Philadelphia Phillie Manager Larry Bowa, who would not give details of McGraw's condition. "He was in the clubhouse a couple days ago and now he's in intensive care."

McGraw and Bowa played together on Philadelphia's championship team in 1980.

McGraw, 58, was taken to Morton Plant Hospital on Wednesday night and underwent neurological tests, said team officials, who refused to disclose more details. The team said McGraw's family would provide additional information.

One of the sources said McGraw would be transferred to a hospital in Tampa later Friday night or today.

McGraw helped the New York Mets and Phillies win World Series titles during his 20-year career in the major leagues. He has been a special spring training instructor for the Phillies the last two years.

McGraw's son, country music star Tim McGraw, was scheduled to take batting practice with the Phillies before Friday's game against Pittsburgh, but the session was canceled.

McGraw was 96-92 with a 3.14 earned-run average and 180 saves in his career. He pitched for the Mets (1965-74) and Phillies (1975-84).

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