McGraw’s late father, Tug McGraw, was a left-handed pitcher and a major figure during the 1980 World Series, where he won a ring with the Phillies.
While Tim McGraw was excited to show off his dad’s jersey, the singer had a complicated relationship with Tug.
“I didn’t know he was my father,” Tim said in 2013 interview with Larry King. “I was 11 years old and I rummaged through my mom’s closet and found a birth certificate. I grew up in Louisiana and my mom got divorced and we were barely getting by.”
The singer then met his father for the first time that year, but would not be reunited with the busy athlete again for another seven years. Despite their physical distance, McGraw says he still felt close to his father and was happy to find out he was his son. “When I found out that Tug McGraw was my father, it gave me something in my small town in Louisiana that I would never have gotten,” he said in an interview with Esquire. “How could I ever be angry?”
The motivation from his award-winning father was certainly effective for McGraw, who experienced widespread success in the world of country music, including 26 No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs diagram.