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The W - Baseball - Tug McGraw passes away
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Spaceman Spiff

Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

Since last post: 91 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
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    PHILADELPHIA -- The image of Frank Edwin (Tug) McGraw leaping off the Veterans Stadium mound after recording the most important out in Phillies history is first in the hearts of local fans.

    That image can't be tarnished, and will burn even brighter with the news that McGraw passed away Monday night at the age of 59. He had been recovering from brain surgery last year that removed two cancerous tumors, but succumbed when another one recently surfaced.

    McGraw's death is the second devastating loss to the Phillies family in 10 days. Former general manager Paul Owens, who brought McGraw to the Phillies in the winter of 1974, passed away on Dec. 26.

    The colorful left-hander, who had names for all his pitches, coined the phrase "Ya gotta believe!" during the Mets' improbable run to the 1973 National League pennant. McGraw maintained the slogan when he needed it most -- through his nearly year-long fight with cancer.

    After McGraw was hospitalized during Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla. -- while in his second year as a guest pitching instructor -- doctors found two tumors. Surgery was performed and McGraw began an arduous rehabilitation process.

    He made a few public appearances during the season, the first one coming during a May series against the Mets. He took in a handful of games at the Vet, and on July 3, 2003, he changed the Vet countdown number, signifying the number of home games remaining at the park.

    Each time he waved or flashed his trademark smile, he received a thunderous ovation.

    McGraw always did things with flair. He broke into professional baseball by pitching a no-hitter for the Mets' Cocoa, Fla., minor league team in 1964, and made his Major League debut the following season. He ended it with the Phillies after the 1984 season.

    During his nine-year Mets career, McGraw went to two World Series -- 1969 and 1973 -- winning it all in 1969.

    He was acquired on Dec. 3, 1974, by Owens for Del Unser, Mac Scarce and John Stearns. The Phillies also received a pair of outfielders, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck, in the six-player deal.

    "We were a young team that was starting to come together," said Bob Boone, a longtime teammate, "but we didn't believe in ourselves. Tug changed that with his arrival. He brought that 'Ya gotta believe!' attitude."

    With the Phillies, McGraw was on teams that won NL East titles from 1976-78, the World Series in 1980 and the NL pennant in 1983. The 1981 Phillies also reached postseason play during a strike-shortened season.

    Without McGraw, the Phillies never would have won their first World Series in 1980. After coming off the disabled list in July of that season, McGraw allowed just three earned runs the rest of the season and compiled a 0.52 ERA during that span.

    He recorded 11 of his 20 saves after July 31 and was 5-0 with five saves during the stretch run in September and October.

    He got the win in the Phillies' NL East clinching game on Oct. 4, 1980. He struck out Larry Parrish, then leaped in the air as the Phillies headed for the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

    Pitching in 12 of the Phillies' 15 postseason games, McGraw won a game and saved four.

    McGraw picked up a two-inning save and struck out Willie Wilson with the bases loaded again to give the Phillies their first World Series championship. He leaped with both arms raised after the 11:29 p.m. final pitch that triggered a wild celebration throughout the Delaware Valley.

    The following day, millions of fans turned out for a victory parade down Broad Street to JFK Stadium. Holding a Philadelphia Daily News that carried a "WE WIN" headline, McGraw spoke to the more than 100,000 Phillies fans that filled the old stadium: "All throughout baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a backseat. But, today is their day."

Rarely do you get a chance to say this about a professional athlete, but Tug was one of the nicest, kindest, wondeful athletes to ever grace our city (Philly).

RIP Tug :(

(edited by Spaceman Spiff on 5.1.04 2210)

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Brian P. Dermody

Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 2273 days
Last activity: 1695 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.16
Farewell to one of the good ones.

You can't stop Pete "Gas". You'd be a fool to try.

Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.72
Rest in Peace, Tug

I absolutely hated Tug as a kid. He played for the Damn Mets, and Cubs fans automatically hate Mets by proxy. But I always rooted for the national league in the world series after the DH came in, so in 1980, I was rooting for the Phillies against the Royals (Even though I thought Brett and Quisenberry were the bomb at the time {hey, I was in my early 20s!}) I remember Tug striking out someone and that walk to the dugout slapping his mit against his Thigh and saying, dang, this is how a pitcher ought to be, INTO it.

I didn't hear until maybe last year that he and Tim McGraw were Daddy/Son and that was cool, except right afterward, I heard Tug had the big C. It was cool that he and Tim got to do a commercial together and hang out, both known together and being Dad and Son. I'm sure that's an important thing to Tim, being left.

Darned if Tug wasn't the coolest pitcher since Bill Lee.

Rest easy, Tug. You go in in the 8th. The Babe is pinch-hitting. Toss him a slider.

Rasslin' republicans - visit it soon

Since: 17.11.03
From: Tallahassee, FL

Since last post: 3628 days
Last activity: 3625 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.59
Although my favorite Tug-ism is the following:

"Ninety percent, I'll spend on good times, women, and irish whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste." - Tug McGraw, on what he would do with his 1975 salary

That's a tremendous quote.

RIP Tugger

I Got A Real Red Wagon

Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 4369 days
Last activity: 624 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
As a Philadelphian, part of my childhood goes with him.

The wrong people always die of cancer.

"As far as my lack of professional courtesy and my obvious immature humor in referring to using your head as a pickle jar, well, I reserve my courtesy for those whom I respect. Your lack of personal integrity has given me much grief, and I find that thinking of your hollowed-out head sitting on top of my fridge and providing a safe haven for pickles is a comforting thought."
-- the immortal Bill Mattocks
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I grabbed his stats from and It's more like 1 per 13 ABs. 9774/756 = 12.929 at bats per home run And, if I'm reading his stats right, he's averaging 16.5 plate appearances per home run. 12513/756 = 16.
- Zeruel, ******* ***** ***** (2007)
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