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, team spokesman Larry Shenk said. He had been battling the disease since March when he underwent surgery for a malignant tumor.
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.
A left-hander who threw a screwball, McGraw was a bit of screwball himself, a fan favorite in New York, Philadelphia and throughout the majors.
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."