Big League Stew

Curt Schilling reveals he had a heart attack in 2011

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Curt Schilling in August 2012 after being inducted to the Red Sox Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)

Sunday's Boston Globe had a nice feature story on former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his "new lease on life" — coaching softball and working for ESPN after his 38 Studios video game venture failed.

In the story comes a startling revelation: Schilling had a heart attack in 2011 that was kept out of the news until the Globe's piece published.

“I was in New York with my wife, who was running the New York Marathon,” he said by cellphone while traveling. “I was watching it and I had chest pains" ...

“I didn’t think it was anything serious,” he says.

They flew back to Boston and went straight from Logan Airport to a Boston hospital, where doctors were waiting for him. No ambulance.

“Ya, as stupid as that was,” Schilling wrote in a text message. “My doctor made it clear that I was very, very, lucky.”

Surgery was performed the next day to insert a stent. The health scare, he says, changed his lifestyle.

“Oh yeah, in every way possible, it had to,” he says, without going into detail.

Schilling stopped short of blaming the heart attack on stresses related to 38 Studios' failure, but told The Globe's Stan Grossfeld, “I’m sure that was part of it.” Schilling lost nearly $50 million in the failed gaming venture, in which 300 employees lost their jobs and Rhode Island taxpayers lost about $100 million.

The Globe's article notes that Schilling regrets mentioning the heart attack and was reluctant to go into detail — but it apparently came out in the course of observing Schilling talking to a fan at a softball game.

Schilling says he's "good" and the heart attack was "dealt with," but his wife Shonda told The Globe she's still worried about her husband, who is 46 and retired from baseball after the 2007 season. He had 216 wins and a 3.46 career ERA.

“I still worry because he has to let the guilt go,” she says. “You cannot be hit with that many things and not have it affect you, I don’t care who it is.”

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