Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw, Jr. (August 30, 1944 – January 5, 2004) was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher and the father of American singer and actor Tim McGraw. He is likely best remembered for coining the phrase, “Ya Gotta Believe” which became a popular rallying cry for the New York Mets, and for recording the final out, via a strikeout of the Kansas City Royals' Willie Wilson, in the 1980 World Series, bringing the Philadelphia Phillies their first world championship. He was the last active major league player to have played under manager Casey Stengel.
McGraw was born in Martinez, California to Frank Edwin "Big Mac" McGraw, Sr. and Mable McKenna. He got the nickname "Tug" from his mother because of the particularly aggressive way he breast-fed. Frank Senior was the great-grandson of Irish immigrants. McGraw graduated from St. Vincent Ferrer High School in Vallejo, California in 1962. He enrolled in Solano Community College, and signed with the New York Mets as an amateur free agent on June 12, 1964 upon graduation.
McGraw was used both as a starting pitcher and out of the bullpen in the minors, and after just one season in the Mets' farm system, where he went 6–4 with a 1.64 earned run average in Rookie and class A ball, McGraw made the Mets out of Spring training 1965 without ever having played double or triple A ball. That same year, when asked if he preferred the new astroturf on the field at the Houston Astrodome to real grass, he said, "I don't know, I never smoked AstroTurf"...
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