RIP Chris Duncan — Former St. Louis Cardinals Player Dead At 38

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How Did Chris Duncan Die? New Details On The Death Of Former St. Louis Cardinal At 38

After battling brain cancer for many years, former St. Louis Cardinal Chris Duncan passed away on Friday, at 38 years old.

Chris Duncan played as a left fielder and first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. On October 2, 2005, he hit his first major run at Busch Stadium II, making him team rookie of the year. Out of his five seasons, Duncan’s best year was in 2006, when he hit 22 homers and helped his team win the World Series, which was their first title win since 1982, according to St. Louis Fox2Now.

“His last game in the major leagues came with the Cardinals on July 20, 2009. After retiring in 2010, he joined WXOS in October 2011. One year later, Duncan was diagnosed with a brain tumor and took time off to treat the disease.”

According to Fox2Now, "In January 2019, the cancer returned, and Duncan went on permanent leave from his radio gig at 101.1 ESPN to continue his fight."

How did Chris Duncan die? 

1. Chris Duncan's family had baseball careers too.

Duncan’s family shares a long line of love for baseball. His father is former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan and his brother, Shelley Duncan, is a former minor league player for the Memphis Redbirds who played from 2005 to 2009.

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2. His mother also passed away due to brain cancer.

Duncan’s mother, Jeanine, also battled brain cancer and passed at age 64 in 2013, according to Legacy.com.

3. The brain cancer returned five years after the tumor was removed.

According to Legacy.com, “Duncan was first diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in 2012. He underwent treatment and was able to return to work for five years before the tumor returned in early 2019.”

4. Duncan’s death was announced one day after his full-time replacement Stalter had finally been hired.

Stalter shared his emotions about teammate Duncan, who he was very close with. "Dunc, my brother,” he wrote, “We laughed like brothers. Fought like brothers. You are the toughest, most driven and most passionate person I’ll ever know. You frustrated me like no other and made me laugh like no other,” he continued, "Every time we had your dad on the show and you said, 'Oh, one more thing. I love you, Dad,' that will stay with me forever.”

5. After retiring in 2010, he became an unapologetic radio broadcaster for WXOS in October 2011.

Duncan worked as a radio broadcaster for WXOS in St. Louis and did not hold back as a commentator who shared his honest opinion while also maintaining his witty humor.

When asked how he was transitioning into the new role in an interview, Chris said, “It was a little uncomfortable at first, knowing my relationship with Tony [La Russa] and having my dad on the coaching staff,” he said. “But I want to be as honest as I possibly can and live up to the title of ‘baseball analyst.’ If I’m going to do something, I’m doing to do it 100 percent… I made a commitment to work as hard as I could and be as honest as I could and give my honest opinions.”

6. Many have taken to Twitter to share their condolences and memories of the former Cardinals player.

Here are a few tweets made by the baseball community dedicated to remembering Duncan.

“My favorite comment to make to Cardinals fan is that every time they enjoy that 2006 championship, they should realize that without Chris’ production when we had all those guys hurt, we wouldn’t have gotten in… He was a tough nails competitor, afraid of nothing.” —Tony La Russa, former St. Louis Cardinals manager

“It’s with an extremely heavy heart that we announce that our former teammate Chris Duncan lost his battle today. He will always be a part of our family at the station and a big part of our community! RIP Dunc we love you!” — 101 ESPN Radio St Louis

“Rest in Peace, Chris Duncan. You will be greatly missed by many. One of my favorite memories of you was your game 5 home run against the Mets in the 2006 NLCS. My thoughts and prayers are with the Duncan family.” — Pat Maroon, Professional hockey player for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. Her writing specializes in news, entertainment and relationships.

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