Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer

  • ESPN.com news services | February 5, 2014

ESPN baseball analyst and former major league pitcher Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he has cancer.

"I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges," Schilling said in a statement released by ESPN. "We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer."

Schilling 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.'

-- Curt Schilling

In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be part of its "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcast team for the upcoming season. It also announced a multiyear contract extension with him.

ESPN did not say what Schilling's broadcast plans will be for the upcoming season.

"Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time," the network said in a statement. "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, 47, pitched in the majors for 20 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox. The six-time All-Star finished with a career record of 216-146 and a 3.46 ERA. His 3,116 strikeouts rank 15th all time.

The right-hander, though, was best known for his performances in the postseason. In 19 playoff starts, he compiled an 11-2 record with four complete games and a 2.23 ERA. He'll forever be a part of Red Sox lore, helping them to World Series titles in 2004 and '07.

Curt Schilling
Nick Laham/Getty ImagesESPN baseball analyst and former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he has cancer.

The Red Sox expressed support for Schilling on Wednesday, tweeting: "Sending heartfelt thoughts to Curt Schilling and his family during this difficult time."

Schilling also won a title as a member of the Diamondbacks in 2001, when he shared MVP honors with fellow starter Randy Johnson.

Last year, Schilling told The Boston Globe he had a heart attack in November 2011 and had surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries. He said he experienced chest pains while watching his wife, Shonda, run in the New York City Marathon.

Shonda Schilling also battled cancer after being diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.

"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," Schilling said in his statement.

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.

"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."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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