Former Baseball Pitcher Tug McGraw (Country Singer Tim's Father) Dies At Age 59 - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2004, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
lizchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bergen County
Posts: 20,943
                     
Unhappy Former Baseball Pitcher Tug McGraw (Country Singer Tim's Father) Dies At Age 59

Updated: 10:32 PM EST

Former Phillies, Mets Reliever McGraw Dead at 59

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 5) -- Tug McGraw, the zany relief pitcher who coined the phrase "You Gotta Believe" with the New York Mets and later closed out the Philadelphia Phillies' only World Series championship, died Monday. He was 59.

McGraw died of brain cancer at the home of his son, country music star Tim McGraw, outside of Nashville, according to Laurie Hawkins, a family spokesperson. He had been battling the disease since March when he underwent surgery for a malignant tumor.

McGraw's illness came as a shock to fans and friends alike last spring. He was at Phillies' training camp in Clearwater, Fla., as a special instructor, looking fine and acting as funny as ever. Then, he was suddenly hospitalized on March 12.

"We lost a part of Mets history tonight," Mets owner Fred Wilpon said. "Tug was a battler on and off the field. I know he fought the disease with every ounce of energy he had. We'll all miss him dearly."

Especially former Phillies teammate and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

"He put up a gallant fight," Schmidt said. "Publicly, he never let on that he had gotten a raw deal. He was Tug through the entire thing. As he always said, 'I front-loaded my life, just like my contract.' His passing is hard to take because his presence meant so much to people around him."

Bob Boone, who was the Phillies' catcher from 1972-81, remained a close friend, too.

"I was real pleased I was able to be with him a little bit the last couple of months," Boone said from his home in Anaheim, Calif. "All of a sudden it hit and he went real quick, which probably is a blessing.

"I know he got more living out of his 59 years than anybody. What you saw was what Tug was. There was no phoniness at all. He loved people and loved life."

McGraw participated in the closing ceremonies for Veterans Stadium, which will be demolished next month. During the program, he re-enacted his final pitch of the 1980 World Series, striking out Kansas City's Willie Wilson for the title.

He popularized the phrase "You Gotta Believe" during the Mets' 1973 World Championship season and carried the slogan through his illness, vowing he'd be on hand next month to push the button to bring down the Vet.

McGraw was known for charging off the mound, slapping his right hand on his thigh and tapping his chest after a close call.

"Patting his hand on his heart after a guy hits a home run foul, who would do that in the heat of the battle?" said Phillies manager Larry Bowa, who played with McGraw on the 1980 championship team. "But it showed he had no fear. He was loose. That's how he played the game."

A left-hander who threw a screwball, McGraw could be a bit of screwball himself.

Once asked whether he preferred to play on a grass field or an artificial surface, he said, "I don't know. I never smoked any AstroTurf."

McGraw's playful personality often overshadowed his talent. He was an outstanding big-game pitcher during his 19-year career.

In 26 postseason games, he had a 2.23 ERA and was 3-3 with eight saves.

McGraw was 96-92 with a 3.14 ERA and 180 saves, and was a two-time All-Star. He made his major league debut with the Mets in 1965 at age 20 and finished with the Phillies in 1984.

After the 1974 season, McGraw was traded by the Mets to Philadelphia in a six-player swap that sent John Stearns to New York. With McGraw, the Phillies won five division titles, two NL pennants and one World Series.

McGraw had 20 saves and a 1.46 ERA in 1980, helping put Philadelphia into the playoffs. After the Phillies got past Houston in a tight NLCS -- McGraw pitched in every game of the best-of-5 series -- they faced the Royals in the World Series.

In addition to his son Tim, McGraw is survived by sons Mark and Matthew McGraw; a daughter, Cari Velardo, and four grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.


01-05-04 22:27 EST

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press


His daughter-in-law is country singer Faith Hill. Not to dance on the man's grave, but his brother is currently in jail for murdering someone.
lizchris is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2004, 04:33 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6,247
                     
R.I.P. Tug
Steam is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: britain
Posts: 1,299
             
Tug McGraw! I had no idea his son was Tim. Not sure that's a good thing.

He was pretty damn good. 180 saves mostly coming in the 70s and early 80s when relievers weren't relievers are they are now.
hey_britney is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2004, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
lizchris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bergen County
Posts: 20,943
                     
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hey_britney
Tug McGraw! I had no idea his son was Tim. Not sure that's a good thing.

He was pretty damn good. 180 saves mostly coming in the 70s and early 80s when relievers weren't relievers are they are now.
Neither did Tim until he was either 5 or 11 years old. His Mom was a one night stand (I don't think Tug wasn't married at the time) and when people started telling him he looked like Tug, his Mom told him the truth, a la Bebe Buell and Liv Tyler.
lizchris is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

Registration Image

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome