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Chris Duncan (1981–2019), former Cardinals player battled cancer

Getty Images / Doug Benc

Slugger was a stand-out on 2006 World Series championship team

Chris Duncan was a former St. Louis Cardinals left fielder and first baseman. He was a vital member of the 2006 World Series championship team and was named Cardinals Rookie of the Year. He hit most of his 22 home runs that season after the All-Star break, helping an injury-plagued Cardinals team reach the post-season and win their first World Series title since 1982. He batted .257, with 55 home runs, and 175 RBIs over the course of five seasons for the Cardinals before a series of injuries ended his major league career.

Following his playing days, he worked as a radio broadcaster for WXOS in St. Louis. He was known for his wry humor and wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself and his reputation as a poor defensive player.

He was the son of former Cardinals catcher and pitching coach Dave Duncan. His older brother, Shelley, also played in the majors.

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Died: Friday, September 6, 2019 (Who else died on September 6?)

Details of death: Died in Tucson, Ariz. of brain cancer at the age of 38.


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 Battle with cancer: Duncan was first diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in 2012. He underwent treatment and was able to return to work for five years before the tumor returned in early 2019.

His mother, Jeanine, also battled brain cancer. She died in 2013 at the age of 64.

Notable quote: “I’ve competed my whole life. I worked for what I got in the game. To me, this is another competition. I’m letting this beat me. I’m (going) to do whatever gives me the best chance,” he told St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Strauss in November 2012.

What people said about him: “My favorite comment to make to Cardinals fan is that every time they enjoy that 2006 championship, they should realize that without Chris’ production when we had all those guys hurt, we wouldn’t have gotten in… He was a tough nails competitor, afraid of nothing.” —Tony La Russa, former St. Louis Cardinals manager

“Great teammate. Incredible teammate. One of the best story tellers in the history of the world. That’s what made him so great on the air.” —Adam Wainwright, Cardinals teammate

Full obituary: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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