abc
QUICK LINKS:

Schilling Blames Chewing Tobacco for Mouth Cancer

Updated: 08/20/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 08/20/2014 6:12 PM WDIO.com
By: HOWARD ULMAN, AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) - Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling says he's been treated for mouth cancer and blames the disease on using chewing tobacco for about 30 years.

Schilling discussed details on WEEI-FM in Boston on Wednesday. The former Red Sox right-hander announced in February that he had cancer but had not disclosed what kind. He has said he is in remission after seven weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and has lost 75 pounds.

"I'm not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing," he said. "It was an addictive habit. I can think about so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever.

"And I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit."

Schilling revealed the type of cancer two months after Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died at the age of 54 of oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco.

Use of chewing tobacco has been "a norm in the baseball culture," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "On the heels of the unfortunate passing of Tony Gwynn and now what Curt's going through, you would think that this would be more of a current beacon for guys to take note and know that there's a price to be paid if you're one of the unfortunate ones that is stricken by cancer."

Major League Baseball prohibits having smokeless tobacco in public view and imposes fines for violations. Minor leaguers cannot use it in games.

Former Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester was coming back from treatment for anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2007, Farrell's first year as Boston's pitching coach. Lester, sent to Oakland at the trade deadline last month, was 4-0 that year and won the final game of Boston's four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

"Any time a public figure who is, unfortunately, diagnosed with cancer, is able to come out and speak about it - I know how hard that can be - it brings awareness," Lester said after Schilling's disclosure, "and maybe sheds a little light or a little hope on somebody who's struggling."

Before his team faced the Red Sox on Wednesday night, Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the use of smokeless tobacco "is non-existent in the minor leagues during a game. ... You hope that the next generation will heed the mistakes of the prior generation."

Schilling is a three-time World Series champion with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

He's being sued by Rhode Island's economic development agency after his video game company received a $75 million state loan guarantee and then collapsed.

___ AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

In an Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling is inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame
AP Photo/Michel Perez, File

Front Page

  • Bentleyville Opening Weekend Draws Large Crowd

      One of the Christmas City of the North's favorite holiday traditions, the Bentleyville Tour of Lights, officially kicked off Saturday night with more than 15,000 visitors. The man behind Bentleyville, and its unofficial "mayor" Nathan Bentley says bringing the holiday light display to Bayfront Festival Park every year is about community...

  • Weekend Anchor Laurie Stribling Says Goodbye

    Weekend Anchor Laurie Stribling had her last show Sunday night. Before she left, we took a look at some of the highlights during her time in the Northland.    

  • Junior League Gives Back Through Festival of Trees

    The Junior League of Duluth helped give back to the community while also lending a hand to local small businesses this weekend. 

  • Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail

    A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

 

Winter Weather Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Price
Expires: 11/25/2014 12:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Douglas
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Ontonagon
Expires: 11/25/2014 7:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement