Bristol, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Former major league pitcher and current baseball analyst Curt Schilling revealed Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer in a statement released by his present employer, ESPN.
"I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges," the statement read. "We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer."
ESPN has yet to disclose what its plans are for Schilling for the upcoming season. The 47-year-old six-time All-Star was slated to be part of the network's broadcast crew for its national "Sunday Night Baseball" telecasts.
"Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time," said ESPN 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 pitched 20 seasons in the majors with five different teams (Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona, Boston) before retiring following the 2007 campaign. He has served as an analyst with ESPN since 2010.
The right-hander compiled a 216-146 record along with a 3.46 earned run average and 3,116 strikeouts, which ranks 15th on baseball's all-time list. Schilling twice won 20 games in a season, notching a career-best 22 with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and posting 21 victories with the Red Sox in 2004. Both of those teams went on to win the World Series.
A renowned postseason performer as well, Schilling is perhaps best remembered for his performance in Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series -- commonly known as "The Bloody Sock Game." Pitching on a badly injured right ankle, he led the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees that forced a Game 7, which Boston ultimately won en route to its first world championship since 1918.
Schilling also shared World Series MVP honors with fellow pitcher Randy Johnson in 2001 and was a part of three world championship teams, having closed out his career with the 2007 Red Sox. He compiled an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts, including a 4-1 mark in seven World Series appearances.
"With my incredibly talented medical team I'm ready to try and win another big game," said Schilling. "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."
Schilling's wife, Shonda, is a cancer survivor, having battled stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.