McGraw’s late dad, Tug McGraw, was a left-handed pitcher and a major figure during the 1980 World Series, winning a ring with the Phillies.
While Tim McGraw was enthusiastic about showing off his father’s jersey, the singer had a complicated relationship with Tug.
“I didn’t know he was my dad,” Tim said in a 2013 interview with Larry King. “I was 11 years old, and I was rummaging around in mom’s closet and found a birth certificate. I was growing up in Louisiana, and my mom was 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 elated to find out he was his son. “When I found out Tug McGraw was my dad, it gave me something in my little town in Louisiana, something that I would have never reached for,” he said in an interview with Esquire. “How could I ever be angry?”
The motivation from his award-winning father surely was effective for McGraw, who’s experienced extensive success in the world of country music, including 26 No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart.