Former Mets and Phillies pitcher David West has died of brain cancer at 57 according to an announcement by the Phillies Saturday.
NJ.com reported that the fourth-round 1983 MLB Draft picks the sixth former Phillies player to die of brain cancer since 2003, following Ken Brett (2003), Tug McGraw (2004), Johnny Oates (2004), John Vukovich (2007), and Darren Daulton (2017).
West was drafted by and pitched for the Mets for two seasons before spending four seasons with the Minnesota Twins, including the 1991 season when they won the World Series.
He was then traded to the Phillies on Dec. 5, 1992 where he spent four seasons before finishing his career with the Boston Red Sox in 1998 just after pitching in 1997 with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan.
News of his death caused Fox News medical contributor, Dr. Marc Siegel, to assert that it was high time the string of brain cancer deaths of former Philadelphia Phillies players be investigated.
“It’s a cluster and it needs to be examined. The number of incidents of deadly brain cancer are about three out of 100,000. This is three or four times that or more,” Siegel told “Fox & Friends” after West’s death was reported.
Siegel told host Brian Kilmeade that he believed the use of radar guns should be investigated as one possible contributing cause of the cancer, while many other experts have speculated in recent years that the since-demolished Veterans Stadium may have played a role in some way.
“The military has done research on microwaves that are given at very high frequency and a lot of exposure. 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,” he said, adding that chemicals used in old Astroturf should also be investigated.
The medical expert noted that of the players that have died, five of the six were all former pitchers and catchers, who would be positioned closest to a radar gun.