Former Cardinals player Chris Duncan, who helped team win World Series, dies at 38

The outfielder, who had brain cancer, was "an integral part of our 2006 championship team and a great teammate and friend," the team said.
Image: Chris Duncan
St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Duncan tosses his helmet in 2009. Duncan, who helped the team win the 2006 World Series, died at age 38 after battling brain cancer, the team announced Friday.Tom Gannam / AP file

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By Phil Helsel

Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan, who helped the team win the 2006 World Series, died at the age of 38, the team announced Friday.

The Cardinals said Duncan died after a courageous battle against brain cancer.

"The Cardinals are deeply saddened by the passing of Chris Duncan and extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Amy, the entire Duncan family, and his many friends," Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.

"Chris was an integral part of our 2006 championship team and a great teammate and friend to many in the organization," he said.

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Duncan was selected by the Cardinals in the 1999 draft and made his debut with the team on Sept. 10, 2005.

He appeared in 10 postseason games in the 2006 season, including three starts in the World Series that year against the Detroit Tigers, which St. Louis won in a 4-1 series.

Duncan ended his career with a .257 batting average and 55 home runs and 175 RBIs over five seasons, according to Major League Baseball. His last game in the majors was with the Cardinals in July 2009, and he went on to become a radio host with ESPN 101 in St. Louis.

Duncan took a permanent leave from the station in January to focus on fighting the cancer, NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis reported. He was co-host of the show "The Turn." He had also stepped away from that role in March of 2018 but later returned, the station reported.

When Duncan took leave from the radio show in January, former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa tweeted that the "Cardinals Nation" had Duncan in their thoughts, and he said Duncan's 20 second-half home runs in 2006 helped "save our season" and led to the World Series win.

ESPN 101 tweeted their condolences Friday.

"It’s with an extremely heavy heart that we announce that our former teammate Chris Duncan lost his battle today,” the radio station said. "He will always be a part of our family at the station and a big part of our community! RIP Dunc we love you!”

Former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols also shared his thoughts and prayers for Duncan’s family.

"He was a dear friend and a strong competitor on and off the field. If anyone could have beat this cancer, I always believed Dunc would. Rest in Peace, buddy; you will be missed,” Pujols wrote in a tweet.