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Curt Schilling just can’t seem to catch a break, can he?
Set to appear in the booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this coming MLB season, the 47-year-old Schilling has been diagnosed with cancer, according to his statement.
“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.”
Best wishes to the former Boston Red Sox pitcher in his battle with cancer. Get well soon, Schill.
Schilling, of course, was the catalyst behind the Red Sox finally breaking the curse in 2004, becoming the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees in the ALCS and winning the World Series for the first time in 86 years. His bloody sock and “Why not us?” mantra brought a new attitude to a team that had its heart ripped out the year before on Aaron Boone’s home run in extra innings of Game 7 in the ALCS. It still gives me chills thinking about him prowling around the mound at Yankee Stadium as the blood stain grew and grew (because really, how could it not as a Red Sox fan, or non-Yankee fan, even?), and he will forever be a legend in my book.
Of course, 2004 was just one more moment on a sterling postseason resume for Schilling, which includes a World Series MVP award in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks (along with Randy Johnson), another World Series trophy with the Red Sox in 2007, and a sparkling 11-2 record overall with a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts.
Things haven’t gone as well in his post-baseball career, though. Schilling’s video game venture, 38 Studios, defaulted on a payment for its $75 million loan from the state of Rhode Island. He suffered from a heart attack in 2011 and needed heart surgery. On a lesser note, his Hall of Fame candidacy took a hit when he received less than 30 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot, a step back from the year before.
Hopefully he can bounce back from his bout with cancer soon — much like his wife, Shonda, who was diagnosed back in 2001 — by channelling some of the guts and spirit he showed on the baseball field, and we’ll be able to see him on Sunday Night Baseball breaking down the game he dominated so often, especially on its biggest stage.