Tim McGraw was 11 years old before he knew the truth about who his biological father was. One day, he was looking for a photo for a school project when he discovered his birth certificate.
The birth certificate showed that Tim was not the son of his stepfather, Horace Smith, like he grew up believing. Rather, it showed that his dad was the famous baseball player Tug McGraw.
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Thinkin about 'Ol Tugger today #Repost @thetugmcgraw 16 years ago today, we said good-bye. 16 years later you continue to transcend your "Ya Gotta Believe" spirit in giving hope to others. Please visit www.tugmcgraw.org to watch our tribute video about the Man who played Major League Baseball with the heart of a Little Leaguer.
Shortly after Tim came to this realization, his mom took him to meet his dad for the first time. But at that meeting, Tug denied being Tim’s father and expressed no desire to be involved in his life.
Tug eventually warmed up to Tim, and finally welcomed him into his life by the time he was 18. They developed a close relationship that lasted until Tug’s death from cancer on January 5, 2004 at the age of 59.
Later in 2004, Tim released the song “Live Like You Were Dying.” While the song was not written by Tim, it was one he was easily able to connect to because of his father’s cancer diagnosis and death.
Sunday (August 30) would have been Tug’s 76th birthday. To honor his father, Tim shared a video slideshow containing photos of him and his dad through the years.
He set the video to “Live Like You Were Dying,” which made it all the more emotional to watch.
“Happy Birthday Tugger! He would’ve been 76 today…. We miss his nuttiness!” Tim wrote next to the video. You can watch it below…just make sure to grab a few tissues before you press “play.”
It’s obvious Tim misses his father terribly. May Tug rest in peace.