Cancer Claims Former Big Leaguer Foster

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: October 16, 2008

CHICAGO — Kevin Foster, who spent seven years in the majors pitching mostly for the Chicago Cubs, has died of cancer. He was 39.

He died in an Oklahoma City hospital Saturday after a six-month bout with renal cell carcinoma, brother Mark Foster said.

“He loved baseball, he loved people and people loved him,” Mark Foster said. “He was a happy person who got along with everybody, and we will miss him.”

Foster was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 29th round in 1987 as an infielder. He converted to pitching three years later. The right-hander was traded to Seattle and then Philadelphia, where he made his first major league appearance in 1993.

Foster spent five seasons with the Chicago Cubs after being acquired from Philadelphia for Shawn Boskie in 1994, going 32-28 from 1994-98.

His best season with the Cubs came in 1995, when he was 12-11 with a 4.51 ERA. Foster tied Brad Radke for the most home runs allowed (32) in the majors that year, and he also hit his only homer in the big leagues.

“He was very popular with his teammates, the organization and fans, and he will be tremendously missed,” the Cubs said in a statement.

Foster battled arm injuries after 1997 and made a brief comeback with Texas in 2001. He finished with a career record of 32-30.

Foster, who was raised in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, was working as a truck driver at the time of his death.

In addition to his brother, Foster is survived by four sons and three sisters. He was divorced and engaged to be married.

Funeral arrangements were still pending.