ESPN baseball analyst and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling revealed in a statement on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
Last year, the right-hander told The Boston Globe that he had a heart attack in November 2011 and had surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries. His wife, Shonda Schilling, also battled cancer after being diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001, ESPN reported.
Schilling did not reveal what kind of cancer he was battling.
Schilling won three World Series in his career, two with the Red Sox and one with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His Major League Baseball career spanned 20 seasons before retiring with a 216-146 win/loss record, 3.46 ERA and 3,116 strikeouts (15th all-time). In 19 playoff starts — when Schilling was at his best — he compiled an 11-2 record with four complete games and a 2.23 ERA.
Schilling said: “I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges. We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.”
He added: “My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means.”
ESPN added: “Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time. His ESPN teammates wish him continued strength in his cancer fight and we look forward to welcoming him back to our baseball coverage whenever he’s ready.”
Schilling fell short on Hall-of-Fame voting again in this, his second year of eligibility — but he received enough votes to stay on the ballot for next year.
The man who donned the most famous bloody sock in MLB postseason history concluded his statement by saying, “With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try and win another big game. I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”