On January 25 1999 — Free agent outfielder Tim Raines is signed by the Oakland Athletics to a $600,000 contract. Raines hit .290 for the World Champion New York Yankees last season and has a .296 career batting average.
On July 16, 1999, as Raines ran to the outfield for a game against the Giants. After what had been a routine jog to his position, he suddenly felt exhausted and went to the hospital that day with swollen ankles and knees. He underwent a series of tests, including a kidney biopsy.
“The tests showed Raines had lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack normal tissue,” wrote Jeff Pearlman in Sports Illustrated. “It is incurable but treatable. In Raines’s case, lupus attacked his kidneys, causing excessive water retention.”
The subsequent eight months were difficult for Raines as he underwent treatment that included radiation and medication. His weight fell to 170 pounds.
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