Nationals Manager Dusty Baker watches batting practice Thursday in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO — Nationals Manager Dusty Baker was in shock when Mike Rizzo, the club’s general manager, walked into his office at Petco Park on Thursday evening and delivered the news: He was about to conduct a team meeting in the visitors’ clubhouse to announce that Mark Lerner, one of the club’s principal owners and a constant presence at Nationals Park, had his left leg amputated below the knee last week following complications with treatment for cancer.
Doctors discovered spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in the 63-year-old Lerner’s left leg, above the knee, in January.
Ryan Zimmerman, the only Nationals player who predates the Lerner family’s purchase of the franchise, said he had been in contact with the family in recent months.
Lerner, who last attended a Nationals game on July 30, is cancer-free and awaiting a prosthetic, which he expects will allow him to continue an active lifestyle, including golf.
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