Latest Phillies’ brain cancer death deepens mystery

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Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher David West died of brain cancer last week. He was only 57.

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West’s death has raised disturbing new questions about a near epidemic of former Phillies who were killed by the same kind of cancer. Now, experts suspect the phenomenon may have something to do with the team’s demolished home, Veteran’s Stadium.

The charmless concrete edifice went under the wrecking ball in 2004.

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Hurler David West was the sixth former Philadelphia Phillies player to die of brain cancer. GETTY IMAGES
Hurler David West was the sixth former Philadelphia Phillies player to die of brain cancer. GETTY IMAGES

West’s death from brain cancer followed catcher Darren Daulton’s in 2017, infielder John Vukovich in 2007, catcher Johnny Oates in 2004, and pitchers Tug McGraw in 2004 and Ken Brett in 2003.

Dr. Marc Siegel is calling for an investigation into the deaths.

“It’s a cluster, and it needs to be examined. The amount of incidents of deadly brain cancer are about three out of 100,000. This is three or four times that or more,” Siegel, professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News.

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Five of the six dead were pitchers or catchers and Siegel suggested exposure to radar guns (used to measure a hurler’s velocity) could be the culprit. He also cited chemicals used in AstroTurf.

Dr. Marc Siegel is calling for an investigation into the Phillies’ deaths. FOX NEWS
Dr. Marc Siegel is calling for an investigation into the Phillies’ deaths. FOX NEWS

“I am not saying that’s what it is — in addition to the AstroTurf, which had a lot of chemicals — they’ve got to look more at that radar gun. It’s a possibility,” Siegel said.

Larry Bowa starred with the Phillies for years and then coached or managed them much longer, 24 years in total. He has been outspoken about a possible link between the stadium and the shocking deaths.

“Yeah, it’s very scary,” Bowa said after Daulton’s death in 2017. “I know cancer is a big illness in our society, but to have that many (Phillies) guys get brain cancer …

“I’m not trying to blame anybody. It’s just sort of strange that that can happen to one team playing at the Vet.”

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