Tug McGraw ranked among baseball's best relief pitchers over 19 seasons with the New York Mets and Phillies, and is also known as the father to country singer, Tim McGraw
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The deaths of six former Philadelphia Phillies players from brain cancer since 2003 have sparked concerns over the playing surface and radar guns at the team’s former stadium – and now one doctor is calling for an investigation.

‘It’s a cluster, and it needs to be examined,’ Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said during a network segment Wednesday – four days after former Phillies pitcher David West died from brain cancer at 57.

Other former Phillies players who’ve died from brain cancer in the last 20 years include pitcher Ken Brett (2003), reliever Tug McGraw (2004), catcher Johnny Oates (2004), infielder John Vukovich (2007), and catcher Darren Daulton (2017).

Tug McGraw ranked among baseball's best relief pitchers over 19 seasons with the New York Mets and Phillies, and is also known as the father to country singer, Tim McGraw

Darren Daulton, a power-hitting catcher, helped push Philadelphia to a National League crown in 1993 and later won a World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins in 1997

(Left) Tug McGraw ranked among baseball’s best relief pitchers over 19 seasons with the New York Mets and Phillies, and is also known as the father to country singer, Tim McGraw. He died from brain cancer in 2004. (Right) Darren Daulton, a power-hitting catcher, helped push Philadelphia to a National League crown in 1993 and later won a World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins in 1997. He died from brain cancer in 2017

The deaths of six former Philadelphia Phillies players from brain cancer since 2003 has sparked concerns over the playing surface and radar guns at the team's former stadium - and now one doctor is calling for an investigation. 'It's a cluster, and it needs to be examined,' Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said during a network segment Wednesday – four days after former Phillies pitcher David West died from brain cancer at 57

The deaths of six former Philadelphia Phillies players from brain cancer since 2003 has sparked concerns over the playing surface and radar guns at the team’s former stadium – and now one doctor is calling for an investigation. ‘It’s a cluster, and it needs to be examined,’ Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said during a network segment Wednesday – four days after former Phillies pitcher David West died from brain cancer at 57

Once a top prospect, Ken Brett had a solid pitching career and was named in All-Star in 1974 while pitching with the Pittsburgh Pirates following his one and only season in Philadelphia

David West, who died earlier this month, spent four seasons pitching for the Phillies and was a key reliever in the club's 1993 pennant run

Once a top prospect, Ken Brett (left) had a solid pitching career and was named in All-Star in 1974 while pitching with the Pittsburgh Pirates following his one and only season in Philadelphia. He died from brain cancer in 2003. (Right) David West, who died earlier this month, spent four seasons pitching for the Phillies and was a key reliever in the club’s 1993 pennant run. He became the sixth ex-Phillies player to die from brain cancer on May 14

Dr. Marc Siegel suggested that players could have been exposed to high-frequency microwaves from the radar guns used to gauge the velocity of pitches. 'The military has done research on microwaves that are given at very high frequency and a lot of exposure,' Siegel said, reminding the audience that five of the six deceased players were pitchers or catchers, placing them directly in the crosshairs of radar guns.  Radiofrequency radiation is not believed to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, but the organization says there remains 'concern that in some circumstances, some forms of non-ionizing radiation might still have other effects on cells that might somehow result in cancer.'

Dr. Marc Siegel suggested that players could have been exposed to high-frequency microwaves from the radar guns used to gauge the velocity of pitches. ‘The military has done research on microwaves that are given at very high frequency and a lot of exposure,’ Siegel said, reminding the audience that five of the six deceased players were pitchers or catchers, placing them directly in the crosshairs of radar guns.  Radiofrequency radiation is not believed to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, but the organization says there remains ‘concern that in some circumstances, some forms of non-ionizing radiation might still have other effects on cells that might somehow result in cancer.’

Johnny Oates only played two seasons with the Phillies, but went on to a successful managing career with the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers. He died from brain cancer in 2004

John Vukovich had a brief career as an infielder and later went on to coach with the Phillies and Chicago Cubs. He died from brain cancer in 2007

(Left) Johnny Oates only played two seasons with the Phillies, but went on to a successful managing career with the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers. He died from brain cancer in 2004. (Right) John Vukovich had a brief career as an infielder and later went on to coach with the Phillies and Chicago Cubs. He died from brain cancer in 2007

‘The amount of incidents of deadly brain cancer are about three out of 100,000,’ Siegel continued. ‘This is three or four times that or more.’

His numbers differ slightly from the National Cancer Institute, which says that 4.4 people die from brain or other nervous system cancers out of every 100,000 Americans, according to data from 2015 to 2019. There were roughly 175,000 Americans living with brain or other nervous system cancer in 2019, according to the NCI. 

Siegel offered two theories for Philadelphia’s cancer deaths: Radar guns and the Phillies’ former home park, the since-demolished Veterans Stadium.

Speaking to Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, Siegel suggested that players could have been exposed to high-frequency microwaves from the radar guns used to gauge the velocity of pitches.

‘The military has done research on microwaves that are given at very high frequency and a lot of exposure,’ Siegel said, reminding the audience that five of the six deceased players were pitchers or catchers, placing them directly in the crosshairs of radar guns.

‘You get hundreds of incidences of the radar gun being used during a game. I’m not saying that’s what it is … but they have got to look more at the radar gun.’

Radiofrequency radiation is not believed to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, but the organization says there remains ‘concern that in some circumstances, some forms of non-ionizing radiation might still have other effects on cells that might somehow result in cancer.’

Radar guns are ubiquitous at all levels of baseball and were never exclusive to Veterans Stadium.

Fox's Dr. Marc Siegel suggested that Veterans Stadium's 'AstroTurf, which had a lot of chemicals,' could also be to blame. The Vet was opened in 1971 and demolished in 2004

Fox’s Dr. Marc Siegel suggested that Veterans Stadium’s ‘AstroTurf, which had a lot of chemicals,’ could also be to blame. The Vet was opened in 1971 and demolished in 2004

Siegel also suggested that Veterans Stadium’s ‘AstroTurf, which had a lot of chemicals,’ could also be to blame.

However, that theory is undercut by the fact that the Phillies shared the stadium with the NFL’s Eagles, who did not suffer any unusual spike in brain cancer among its ranks. Furthermore, there hasn’t been any reported rise in brain cancer rates among grounds crew members who worked at the Vet, as it was commonly known.

Spokespeople for the Eagles and Phillies did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.  

Siegel is not the first person to raise concerns about Veterans Stadium. Former Phillies shortstop and manager Larry Bowa (pictured) also broached the subject in 2013. 'Yeah, it's very scary,' Bowa, who spent 24 years managing and playing in Philadelphia, told USA Today . 'I know cancer is a big illness in our society, but to have that many [Phillies] guys get brain cancer...'

Siegel is not the first person to raise concerns about Veterans Stadium. Former Phillies shortstop and manager Larry Bowa (pictured) also broached the subject in 2013. ‘Yeah, it’s very scary,’ Bowa, who spent 24 years managing and playing in Philadelphia, told USA Today . ‘I know cancer is a big illness in our society, but to have that many [Phillies] guys get brain cancer…’

More recently, the recycled tire crumbs used to fill modern artificial grass surfaces has come under scrutiny because the material is carcinogenic, but it has not yet been proven to cause cancer.

Besides, Veterans Stadium’s artificial turf was that of a previous generation, before the crumbed rubber was widely used.

AstroTurf took its name from Houston’s Astrodome, where it was first installed in 1966.

Siegel is not the first person to raise concerns about Veterans Stadium. Former Phillies shortstop and manager Larry Bowa also broached the subject in 2013, when Daulton was first diagnosed. 

‘Yeah, it’s very scary,’ Bowa, who spent 24 years managing and playing in Philadelphia, told USA Today. ‘I know cancer is a big illness in our society, but to have that many [Phillies] guys get brain cancer…’ 

Proving a direct cancer link could be difficult, according to Timothy R. Rebbeck, a cancer epidemiologist at Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who reviewed some of the Phillies cases in 2017. 

‘There is almost never an explanation for them,’ Rebbeck told The New York Times after Daulton’s death in 2017. 

‘It’s either just random chance bad luck or there is something there, but we just don’t have the science to pick it out yet,’ he said. 

Eagles quarterback Rodney Peete stands with his offensive line during an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 1998 at the Veterans Stadium. While six former Phillies players have died from brain cancer after playing at the Vet, the Eagles have not reported any similar deaths among its former players

Eagles quarterback Rodney Peete stands with his offensive line during an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 1998 at the Veterans Stadium. While six former Phillies players have died from brain cancer after playing at the Vet, the Eagles have not reported any similar deaths among its former players 

Daulton, a power-hitting catcher, helped push Philadelphia to a National League crown in 1993 and later won a World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins in 1997. 

McGraw ranked among baseball’s best relief pitchers over 19 seasons with the New York Mets and Phillies, and is also known as the father to country singer, Tim McGraw. 

Once a top prospect, Brett had a solid pitching career and was named in All-Star in 1974 while pitching with the Pittsburgh Pirates following his one and only season in Philadelphia. 

Vukovich had a brief career as an infielder and later went on to coach with the Phillies and Chicago Cubs. 

Oates only played two seasons with the Phillies, but went on to a successful managing career with the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers. 

West, who died earlier this month, spent four seasons pitching for the Phillies and was a key reliever in the club’s 1993 pennant run.  

A general view of the field during the game between the Montreal Expos and the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia on April 16, 2000. The faded lines of the Eagles' football field can be seen overlaid on top of the baseball field. Curiously, the Eagles have not reported any rise in cancer rates among the team's former players

A general view of the field during the game between the Montreal Expos and the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia on April 16, 2000. The faded lines of the Eagles’ football field can be seen overlaid on top of the baseball field. Curiously, the Eagles have not reported any rise in cancer rates among the team’s former players 

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