Today in Philly Sports History: Tug McGraw Dies, 2004

Today in Philly Sports History: Tug McGraw Dies, 2004

It's one of the most famous and indelible images in Philly Sports history. Tug McGraw rejoicing on the mound after striking out Willie Wilson with a 1-2 fastball to clinch the deciding Game Six of the 1980 World Series. Tug was an integral part of that '80 championship season, finishing with a 5-4 record, a 1.46 ERA and 20 saves, good for fifth place in the year's Cy Young voting. He pitched ten seasons in Philadelphia in all, finishing his tenure with 94 saves and a 3.10 ERA.

Tug was a beloved member of the Phillies family, and a much-appreciated figure nationwide for his weird media comments and general irreverence (once noting that he "never smoked AstroTurf" when asked for his preference between the artificial product and real grass). In 2003, however, Tug was given weeks to live after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He held on for many months--long enough to attend the closing ceremonies at Veterans' Stadium--before eventually succumbing on January 5th, 2004.

Tug's legacy lives on through his accomplishments with the Phillies in that historic season, and also for his charitable work--The Tug McGraw Foundation was founded in 2003, to help out children and adults with brain tumors. In the 2008 World Series, country star Tim McGraw came out to dust some of Dad's ashes on the Citizens Bank Park mound before game three--a moment that was confusing to us who had never made the connection between the two of them before, but one that was fairly touching nonetheless.

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.