Sports

Phillies minor league pitcher dead at 20 after battle with cancer

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Thursday that minor leaguer pitcher Corey Phelan has died.

Phelan was just 20 years old.

“The Phillies family is extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Corey Phelan,” the Phillies said in a statement. 

A Philadelphia Phillies sign in the foreground of the Philadelphia skyline Aug. 25, 2013, in Philadelphia.

A Philadelphia Phillies sign in the foreground of the Philadelphia skyline Aug. 25, 2013, in Philadelphia.
(Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)

“Corey’s positive presence and selflessness influenced everyone around him. While he was incredibly passionate about the game of baseball, his love for his family and his strong faith superseded everything else. We extend our deepest condolences to his family as well as his teammates and staff who were by his side, providing emotional support throughout the course of his courageous battle with cancer.”

Phelan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in April and was unable to play this season.

Phelan was able to visit the big league club at Citizens Bank Park in May.

A Philadelphia Phillies cap sits on a dugout step during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park Aug. 18, 2018, in Philadelphia.

A Philadelphia Phillies cap sits on a dugout step during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park Aug. 18, 2018, in Philadelphia.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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“The kid is a fighter, and he is a strong kid. He is mentally strong. He is tough,” then-manager Joe Girardi said at the time. “His whole family was here. He spoke to us, and it was pretty moving.”

He signed with the Phillies in August 2020 as an undrafted free agent. He pitched to a 0.93 ERA in five games with the Florida Complex League Phillies last year.

“Corey is and will always be a special person. His smile lit up a room, and anybody who came in contact with him cherished the interaction. His memory will live on, especially with the Phillies organization,” Preston Mattingly, the Phillies director of player development, said.

A view of the field and the skyline of Philadelphia during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park June 22, 2017, in Philadelphia.

A view of the field and the skyline of Philadelphia during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park June 22, 2017, in Philadelphia.
(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The Phillies are tied with the Atlanta Braves in an NLDS at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled for Friday at 4:37 p.m. ET.

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