Six former Philadelphia Phillies died of brain cancer, and it appears there could be a link between their deaths and the turf at the team’s old Veterans Stadium, according to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
For the past decade, turf fields have become less of a thing in Major League Baseball, with natural grass becoming the choice for most teams nowadays. A few teams still use turf, but that could all change with the latest bombshell report from the Inquirer about the turf used at Veterans Stadium, which hosted both the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Philadelphia Inquirer took an old piece of turf from the stadium that was preserved for memorabilia and examined it, finding “forever chemicals” that are also known as polyfluoroalkyl (PFA) substances, which can cause serious health issues, including cancer.
“We know that the liver is affected,” University of Notre Dame physicist Graham Peaslee told the Inquirer. “We know that the kidneys are affected. We know the testicles are affected. But nobody’s ever done the study to see if the brain is affected, because glioblastoma is such a rare disease.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer discovers a possible link between artificial grass and brain cancer after looking into the deaths of six former Philadelphia Phillies players. @dgambacorta from The Philadelphia Inquirer discusses with @jaketapper pic.twitter.com/utXxFOjQqK
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) March 8, 2023
The Inquirer’s report explains that the rate of glioblastoma among Phillies players between 1971-2003 is three times higher than the normal national average.
“It’s a cluster, and it needs to be examined,” said Dr. Marc Seigel. “The amount of incidents of deadly brain cancer are about three out of 100,000. This is three or four times that or more.” (RELATED: Holy Cow! It’s Not Even Baseball Season, But Wild Plays Are Being Made On The World Stage)
Larry Bowa, who spent over two decades with the Phillies as a player, coach and manager, also spoke about the potential link as well.
“I know cancer is a big illness in our society,” he said. “But to have that many [Phillies] guys get brain cancer … I’m not trying to blame anybody. It’s just sort of strange that can happen to one team playing at the Vet.”