"You Gotta Believe"; Tug McGraw Comes Home

The effects of brain surgery and medication that he has to take daily have slowed our Tugger, but the man that made his way into the hearts of Phillies fans came home to Philadelphia Thursday in a surprise visit to Veterans Stadium. Tug McGraw, just a little more than two months after brain surgery, is pushing ahead simply because he believes.

"They told me I had three weeks to live," remembers Tug McGraw. "I'm still alive, so the three-week thing didn't work."

Typical Tug McGraw humor and outlook on life couldn't be held back by surgery or medications as he met with the media Thursday in Philadelphia. McGraw's prognosis is very good after having emergency six-hour brain surgery on March 18. "I'm not fearful. I have confidence," said McGraw. Since surviving the surgery, McGraw has also had to endure a month of radiation and chemotherapy and still gets chemotherapy treatments one week a month.

McGraw's visit didn't include staying for the game between the Phillies and Mets, but he does plan to return to watch a game Saturday night between the Phillies and Expos.

One of the first to greet McGraw was Phillies third base coach John Vukovich, who underwent a similiar operation. "He's a tough guy. He's going to be fine," remarked Vukovich. Manager Larry Bowa, a teammate of McGraw's on the 1980 World Series Championship team was inspired by McGraw's visit. "He's a big part of our history. It was great to see him," said Bowa.

On his visit to Philadelphia, McGraw is accompanied by his seven year old son Matthew. The press conference turned emotional at times for McGraw. "Being a flake and someone who lives on the edge, you don't know how people would respond. It's been overwhelming," said McGraw.

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