Cheers actor Ted Danson, 1982-1993. // Sam McDowell, Ted Danson (Paramount TV/Courtesy: Everett Collection)

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Cheers actor Ted Danson, 1982-1993.

Daly isn't the only athlete to face a battle with the bottle. And for some, heavy drinking has cut promising careers short. Soccer stars George Best and Paul Gascoigne were famous alcoholics who left fans wondering what might have been. The same was true of 'Sudden' Sam McDowell, a brilliant pitcher whose drinking problems forced him to retire at the age of 32, and later broke up his marriage. After spending time in rehab, McDowell became an addiction counsellor for the Toronto Blue Jays, winning a World Series ring in 1993. McDowell's story was the basis for Ted Danson's Sam Malone character in the TV sitcom 'Cheers.'

* Bing: Who else was on the cast of Cheers?