Hearing the good news secondhand wasn't good enough, so half a dozen New York Yankees visited Darryl Strawberry on Sunday, a day after a cancerous tumor was removed from the outfielder's colon.
Pitcher David Cone intended to bring one of the Yankees' caps, which now have Strawberry's number 39 stitched in white on the back.
"We just want to show him how much we care -- and we got the job done he wanted us to do," Cone said before joining teammates Chili Davis, Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter and Tim Raines on the trip to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, about a mile from Yankee Stadium.
Strawberry was on the Yankees' minds as they prepared for Tuesday's start of the AL championship series against Cleveland. Dr. Stuart Hershon, the Yankees' team physician, held a clubhouse meeting and gave an update on Strawberry's condition.
Hershon told them doctors believe the cancer had not spread, but they won't know for sure until tests come back in about 10 days. Doctors removed a 16-inch portion of Strawberry's large intestine to get rid of a tumor almost 21/2 inches long.
"I think we felt a lot better because everything came out well," Tino Martinez said. "There's a lot of relief around here. Our thoughts are still with him, but there's a lot better feeling around here."
Strawberry remained in stable condition Sunday. He is expected to remain in the hospital for about a week.
"He's doing well. His family is with him," Columbia-Presbyterian spokeswoman Szuping Di said.
Strawberry also got a visit from George Steinbrenner, who didn't make it clear whether he went Saturday, Sunday or both.
"I was with him all day," Steinbrenner said at Yankee Stadium without elaborating.
The Yankees were shaken when they learned last Thursday that Strawberry had a cancerous tumor.
New York manager Joe Torre, who also visited the 36-year-old outfielder, predicted Strawberry's illness will increase the awareness of colon cancer among the Yankees.
"Knowing George Steinbrenner, there'll bvery thorough exams," Torre said. "I have a feeling we're going to have more exhaustive physicals."
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