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Curt Schilling returning in role as analyst on ESPN starting Thursday 09.09.14 at 11:43 am ET
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ESPN has announced that former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling will be returning to his role as baseball analyst on ESPN. Schilling, who has been in an eight-month battle with mouth cancer, will be on “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN2 Thursday night at 10.

Schilling — who first publicly explained his battle with cancer when appearing on the Dennis & Callahan show during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon (click here for audio/text of the interview) – has been in remission since June.

The 47-year-old Schilling (who has lost nearly 60 pounds due to the battle with the disease) is slated to be a regular contributor on the Thursday night show, according the network.

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Curt Schilling to D&C on battle with cancer: ‘I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will’ 08.20.14 at 8:52 am ET
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Curt Schilling is in remission from cancer and warning against the use of chewing tobacco. (WEEI.com)

Curt Schilling is in remission from cancer and warning against the use of chewing tobacco. (WEEI.com)

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who is in remission after receiving treatment earlier this year for squamous cell carcinoma, joined the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Wednesday morning to tell his story publicly for the first time and warn against using chewing tobacco, which he blames for his situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling, who had weighed slightly over 200 pounds prior to his diagnosis, lost 75 pounds during his treatment, mainly because he could not swallow. He also has lost his ability to taste and smell.

“This all came about from a dog bite,” he explained on his visit to the Dennis & Callahan show. “I got bitten by a dog and I had some damage to my finger and I went to see a doctor. And the day I went to see the doctor, I was driving and I went to rub my neck and I felt a lump on the left side of my neck. I knew immediately it wasn’t normal. There happened to be an ENT [ear, nose and throat specialist] right next door to the hand doctor. I thought, ‘What the heck, let me just stop in and see.’ So I waited in the office, went in there and he did a biopsy. Two days later, he diagnosed me with squamous cell carcinoma.”

Schilling, who still is recovering from his business troubles following the well-publicized collapse of his video game company, recalled the immediate aftermath of his diagnosis as a moment of self-awareness.

“You know what the amazing thing was, and I was just dumfounded by it: You’ve just been told you have cancer, and you walk out into the public, and the world’s still going on. It was really a challenge to wrap my head around that,” said Schilling, who relies heavily on his religious faith. “My second thought was, ‘Wow, really? You think I can handle this, too, huh?’ ”

Schilling was in the hospital for about six months, in part because he developed additional problems, including a staph infection.

“I got chemo and radiation for [seven] weeks, and I came back to the room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. This could be one of my kids,” he said. “I’m the one guy in this family that can handle this. From that perspective, I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will.”

During his playing days, Schilling was known for his efforts to connect with young cancer patients. Now he’s seen it from the other side, and he has a greater appreciation for what they go through.

“When you walk around that facility you see these amazing doctors doing amazing things,” Schilling said. “And then you turn the corner and see a 5-, 6-, 7-year-old kid. I can’t fathom — if this happened again, I’m not sure if I would go through the treatment again, it was that painful. I can’t imagine a 5-, 6-year-old kid having that. It s just mind-boggling.”

Schilling used chewing tobacco for three decades, something he now greatly regrets.

“I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got,” he said. “Absolutely. No question in my mind about that. … I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer.”

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Pedro Martinez touches on helping Drake Britton grow up, reaching out to Curt Schilling and ‘amazing’ Jon Lester 02.26.14 at 4:36 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. When Pedro Martinez holds court, every word is gold.

That’s the way it was again Wednesday when the former ace pitcher talked about his odds of Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2015, his impact on young pitchers, his future with the team and his attempt to reach out to Curt Schilling after Schilling was diagnosed with cancer.

Martinez admitted Wednesday that when he was in his first season as special assistant last spring he thought lefthander Drake Britton had the stuff to make it on the big league roster out of camp. Soon, he and the Red Sox found out that while he may have impressive pitches in his arsenal, he was far from ready with his off-the-field command of his behavior. On March 2, 2013, the 24-year-old lefty was arrested by Lee County police for driving under the influence, property damage and reckless driving.

Then Britton struggled badly in the early season. Martinez felt the time was right to actually travel to Portland, Maine (home of the Double-A affiliate) and reach out like a parent and deliver some fatherly advice to a pitcher he thought had great potential but no control.

“I was straightforward with him and I told him exactly what I would probably love to hear if I was in the same situation,” Martinez said. “I talked about his personal life, how he should treat some of the things that were happening, how much of a battle he wanted to put up after things like that happened. When I saw him struggling in Double A, I chose myself to go and see him and let him know that everything he had before was still there. It was just a matter of putting his mind, his heart, his desire where it had to be. He took it graciously, and thanks to God, he proved to everybody he was able to battle through it.”

Britton made Martinez proud, going through the legal process in Lee County while improving his effort on the mound. In July, Martinez’s spring training vision was fulfilled, as Britton was promoted to the big leagues. He was posted a 3.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances, helping the Red Sox add depth to their bullpen down the stretch.

“I’m extremely proud of him, extremely proud to see him overcome all that and actually pay me back,” Martinez said. “Pay me back, that’€™s all I wanted. I wanted to see him have success and to see him at the end of the year pitching so well and doing so well for the team, helping the team so much, it really made me like a proud father.”

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Read More: 2014 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Curt Schilling, drake britton
Curt Schilling’s family tweets that cancer surgery ‘went really well’ 02.11.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had surgery following his cancer diagnosis, according to tweets from his children.

On Monday morning, Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, wrote: Dads surgery went really well! Now he’s in recovery. #GodBless

 

Schilling’s oldest son, Gehrig, tweeted a photo of his father in a hospital bed with the word “recovery.”

Schilling announced last Wednesday that he has cancer, although he hasn’t revealed which type. On Friday he tweeted: Overwhelmed at the well wishes, and prayers. Bless all of you. No pity or sympathy needed, I’ve been beyond blessed. I’m ready for this.

Added Schilling: One more thing, the world goes on after you leave, change it while you’re here.

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Red Sox players react to Curt Schilling’s cancer diagnosis 02.06.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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As Curt Schilling‘s announcement that he was recently diagnosed with cancer made its way around the web, Red Sox players tweeted their support for the pitcher who helped the team win two World Series titles.

 

 

 

In a statement released by ESPN on Wednesday, Schilling thanked everyone who offered their support.

“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.

“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 to 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.”

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Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer 02.05.14 at 5:29 pm ET
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Curt Schilling has been diagnosed with cancer, the former Red Sox pitcher announced in a statement released by ESPN.

“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in the statement. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”

Schilling pitched for the Red Sox from 2004 to 2007, helping the team win two World Series. He was at his best in the playoffs, as he went 6-1 with a 3.28 ERA during those two World Series runs.

In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be joining its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this season. The network has not said if Schilling’s diagnosis changes that.

Schilling’s wife, Shonda, battled skin cancer back in 2001 and wound up founding the Shade Foundation of America the next year to promote sun safety awareness. The Schillings have also helped raise awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig‘s Disease).

“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.

“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.”

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Curt Schilling on D&C: Hall of Fame ‘completely out of my control’ 01.09.14 at 9:16 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, a day after the balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

In his second year of eligibility, Schilling received 29.2 percent of the vote, down from the 38.8 percent he received last year and well below the 75 percent needed for election. Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine were elected.

Schilling was driving back to Massachusetts from Florida with a girls softball team he coaches when he learned about the balloting.

“I literally was about 18 hours into this trip and I started to get Facebook and Twitter messages and I wasn’t sure why,” Schilling recalled. “And then it dawned [on me]. I had been completely consumed with this whole weekend [softball tournament] and forgotten that the date had shown up and it had started.

“I certainly didn’t expect to be one of the guys this year given the class that was out there and given the voting rules and stuff. It has become such a politically charged process. Unless you’re on the ballot by yourself and all the cases can be made for and against, it’s hard. But the good thing is you saw three guys that I think had legitimate first-ballot Hall of Fame careers go in yesterday, which was nice.”

Coming off a failed business venture and a health scare, Schilling said he won’t let something like this affect him in a major way.

“Given the way life has gone for me the last couple of years, you start to get perspective — I think a little bit better perspective,” Schilling said. “I might not be here tomorrow, much less next January 8th. So I can’t worry about it. It’s completely out of my control. I keep referring back to the fact that when you talk about things like this and you look at what they mean, ultimately it comes down to respect. And I think the 24 guys that I suited up with for the years that I played, if they had to win a game, I think a lot of them would have given me the ball. And there’s not much more I could ask for out of my career than that. If this happens, awesome.

“The challenge of being in this position is you don’t want to diminish what it means, but you also don’t want to make it out to be more than it is. I’m done pitching. I can’t get anybody else out. That your Hall of Fame credentials fluctuate 10 percent to 40 percent yearly is kind of awkward. It kind of I think sheds a light on the fact that the process is kind of goofy I guess in a way.

“I watched Tim Raines growing up. If Tim Raines isn’t in the Hall of Fame and Dale Murphy isn’t in the Hall of Fame and I don’t get in, I’ll be all right.”

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