Wednesday, March 22 2023
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 02: A detail view of the tarp covering the pitchers mound with Philadelphia Phillies logo prior to the game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on September 2, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 3-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The Phillies lost a minor leaguer to cancer. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Corey Phelan, a minor league player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, has died after a battle with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the team announced Thursday. He was 20 years old.

The statement from Phillies director of player development Preston Mattingly:

“The Phillies family is extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Corey Phelan. 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 While he was incredibly passionate about the game of baseball, his love for his family and his strong faith superseded everything else.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.

“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.”

Phelan, a Greenlawn, New York native, signed with the Phillies as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and quickly saw success, allowing only one earned run in 9.2 innings of relief work for the club’s Florida Complex League team in 2021.

That success turned into a nightmare in April. As he told Philadelphia’s WPVI, Phelan passed out while in the shower and a CAT scan found a nine-inch mass in his chest. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting his white blood cells. According to, the illness generally has a 70 percent relative survival rate over five years.

Phelan said in May during a visit to the Phillies clubhouse that his condition was “turning more towards leukemia” as there were more cancerous cells in his bone marrow.

He still wanted to keep playing, though. Even as recently as two weeks ago, Phelan expressed eagerness to return to the field in his final Instagram post.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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