Tim McGraw Wishes His Late Father a Happy Birthday in Emotional Video

by Taylor Cunningham

County music legend Tim McGraw took to Twitter today to wish his late father, Tugger McGraw, a happy birthday.

As McGraw mentions in his video, he didn’t know his father until he was older—11 to be exact. According to a story by Biography, the country singer was born nine months after a one-night stand. And Tim McGraw’s father, who was a professional baseball player, wanted nothing to do with him.

As Tim recalls on Twitter, he found out his father was Tugger McGraw—a star player for the 1969 Miracle Mets—after stumbling upon his birth certificate one day.

Before the 1883 actor learned his true identity, he knew himself as Tim Smith. And like many young boys, he idolized Tug McGraw. He even had Tug’s baseball card hanging on his wall.

Then one night, Tim McGraw went digging through his mother’s closet in hopes of finding hidden Christmas gifts. But instead, he found his birth certificate, which showed Tugger McGraw as his father.

McGraw’s mother called Tugger and asked him to meet her son, and Tugger reluctantly agreed. The baseball star had a new family by that time, and he wasn’t interested in having a relationship with Tim McGraw. But after a few years and a rocky start, the two forged a bond.

Tugger went on to help Tim make a name for himself in the music industry. But in 2003, Tug was diagnosed with brain cancer. Tim did all he could to save his father from a terminal diagnosis, but Tugger died less than a year later.

Tim McGraw Sends his Love to the Late Tugger McGraw

Today (August 30th) would have been Tugger McGraw’s 77th birthday. And just as Tim McGraw has done in the past, he wished his father a happy birthday on social media.

“Tug McGraw was an inspiration to me,” he started. McGraw went on to say that many of his fans have asked how he could have a relationship with a man who abandoned him as a child. And Tim said that even though he didn’t know his father early on, Tug was still an inspiration to him. 

Tim McGraw then reminisced about his time as a young boy, when he watched his father play baseball. He said that watching Tugger on the field made him think he could do anything with his life. And then he continued by saying, “He made me think I had something in me that came from him.”

Tim McGraw shared a few pictures of his father. Then, with tears in his eyes, McGraw ended his tribute with “Happy birthday, Tugger. Thank you.”