ESPN baseball analyst and former major league pitcher Curt Schilling, who won 216 games in 20 major-league seasons, announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with cancer.
Schilling released the following statement through ESPN:
“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.
“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.”
What form of cancer Schilling is battling has not yet been disclosed.
In 2001, Schilling’s wife Shonda was diagnosed with stage-2 melanoma.
In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be part of its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this 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.”
In his career, Schilling, 47, pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox. He went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA. His 3,116 strikeouts rank 15th all time in the majors.
Schilling was a key pitcher on three World Series-winning teams, 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and 2004 and 2007 with the Red Sox.
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.