Curt Schilling Diagnosed With Cancer

Curt Schilling, in 2013, being inducted in the Phillies Wall of Fame. - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies Wall of Famer announced he will take a leave of absence from ESPN while he battles his illness.

Former Phillie and current ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling announced on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Schilling released a statement on his status via 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."

Schilling's wife Shonda is a cancer survivor, and Curt is the latest Phillie to announce he is fighting the disease. Former Phils John Vukovich and Tug McGraw both passed away from brain cancer, and Schilling's former battery mate, Darren Daulton, is currently fighting his own battle with brain cancer.

Schilling did not specify what type of cancer he had, saying only that he will work hard to fight the disease. Curt also suffered a heart attack in November of 2011.

While "Schil" is best known nationally for his world championship stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox, he spent most of his career with the Phils. In his nine years in Philadelphia, Schilling went 101-78 with a 3.35 ERA and 1554 strikeouts.

His two best years in Philly were during some of the team's darkest seasons, in 1997 and '98, when he piled up more than 300 strikeouts each season, leading the NL both years, and made the All-Star team for the first two times in his career. He also led the league in complete games with 15 in '98.

Schilling is, of course, best remembered in Philadelphia for his incredible run in the 1993 playoffs, where he was named NLCS MVP against Atlanta and prolonged the Phils' season with a complete game shutout in Game 5 of the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

He is also remembered for draping a towel over his head during that playoff run and for talking his way into a trade away from the Phillies during the 2000 season. That left some bitterness between himself and the organization, but that was brushed away when Schil was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame last year.

Schilling is a borderline Hall of Famer, with 216 career wins, an ERA of 3.46, and 3116 Ks. His candidacy is buoyed by his incredible playoff record. In 19 playoff starts, he compiled an 11-2 record with four complete games and a 2.23 ERA.

Now, some awesome video of Curt Schilling. Get well soon, Curt.

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