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A former Major League pitcher who had a harrowing ordeal with cancer tipped his hat on Friday, April 15, to Kosciusko Community YMCA’s program that offers support to those fighting the disease.
Dave Dravecky enjoyed Major League success over a seven-year stretch in the 1980s, starting with the San Diego Padres and ending with the San Fransisco Giants.
In August 1988, Dravecky was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in the deltoid muscle of his pitching arm. Doctors removed a section of the muscle, and he was told he would likely never pitch again.
Ten months later, in his second start after coming back from surgery, a stunned stadium crowd and TV audience watched as Dravecky snapped his arm and collapsed on the mound in pain after throwing a wild pitch to Tim Raines.
He eventually had to have the arm and shoulder removed, which ended any chance of a comeback.
Together with his wife, Jan, he established a ministry and Dravecky often tours the country speaking to groups.
On Friday, Dravecky gave the keynote address as part of Kosciusko Community YMCA’s annual Good Friday breakfast held at Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake.