Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced Wednesday afternoon that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
Schilling has dealt with heart problems since retiring from baseball in 2007, and his wife, Shonda, previously battled cancer 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 released by ESPN.
Schilling was a part of the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox championship teams, and he won another World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. Since retiring, he has worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN, signing a new multi-year contract with the network in December. Neither Schilling nor ESPN commented on Schilling’s plans 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 spent 20 years in the majors, compiling 215 wins and earning six All-Star nods. His final four seasons were spent in Boston, and he said Wednesday that he will draw inspiration from the patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with whom the Red Sox are highly involved.
“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,’” Schilling said. “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.”