Curt Schilling says he has cancer

Curt Schilling, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher who is now an ESPN analyst, is battling 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, 47, did not specify the nature of his cancer nor the prognosis.

Schilling, who now works as a baseball analyst for ESPN, was named part of the “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team for 2014 and ESPN did not say when Schilling would begin his new job. “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’s wife Shonda was diagnosed with melanoma in 2001 and, in his statement, Schilling spoke of his father, who died when Schilling was 21.

“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.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · February 6, 2014