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The quotable Tug McGraw
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01/06/2004  4:37 PM ET
The quotable Tug McGraw
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PHILADELPHIA -- Many quirks and quips made up Tug McGraw and it's impossible to name them all.

Here's a sample:

Spending money: After the Mets clinched the pennant, McGraw was asked how he planned to spend his World Series share:

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other 10 percent I'll probably waste."

The '73 World Series loss: The Mets had lost to the powerhouse Oakland A's, in a World Series few expected them to be in, much less win. McGraw's answer became one of his most famous quotes: the Frozen Snowball Theory.

"Ten million years from now, when the sun burns out and the Earth is just a frozen snowball hurtling through space, nobody's going to care whether or not I got this guy out."

Tug McGraw: 1944-2004
Coverage from MLB.com >

A crucial 1980 World Series moment:
With the bases loaded and two outs, McGraw noticed the packed Veterans Stadium on edge, and a police force led horses around the field for protection. One of the things that stuck out was the sight of a horses leaving something behind on the turf near the warning track.

"...And I thought to myself, 'If I don't get this guy out, that's what I'm going to be in this town.' "

Names for his fastballs: Peggy Lee ("Is that all there is?"); Bo Derek ("A nice little tail"); the Cutty Sark ("It sailed") and the Titanic (a sinker).

How he got his nickname: As the story goes, the child born Frank was dubbed Tug by him mother because of the particularly aggressive way he breast-fed.

Uncle John: McGraw's nickname for John Jameson Irish Whiskey.

St. Patrick's Day: McGraw's favorite holiday. During his first Spring Training with the Phillies, he donned a uniform dyed green. Since then, the Phillies celebrate each March 17 by auctioning off green hats for their ALS charity. During the 2003 season, the Phillies hung a green No. 45 jersey in the dugout for each game.

Elvis Presley: Another well-told McGraw story goes like this: On the day Elvis died, in 1977, the Phillies were in Montreal. McGraw arrived at Olympic Stadium with a black leather jacket, black boots, denims and a Presley-esque pompadour, then wore the outfit on the flight to Chicago.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.






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