Hall of Fame slugger Mike Schmidt says he feels "fantastic" after recently completing his last round of chemotherapy treatment for Stage 3 melanoma. His treatment prevented him from being a spring instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies, but Schmidt reported to camp in Florida on Sunday to inform the masses of how he's doing. And with an obligatory message:
Get your skin checked. Schmidt says he feels like the "luckiest man alive" because he got his skin checked by a dermatologist after finding a random spot on his hand. Schmidt, who is 64 years old and plans on joining the Phillies broadcast in a limited capacity this season, also says he's grown wary of sunlight.
“I had been in chemo-infusion centers sitting in a chair with a needle in my hand with people that are dying all around me,” Schmidt said. “I was hoping I would never see anything like that. But it became normal for me, for over a month.”
Schmidt looked healthy on Sunday morning in Clearwater, although he said he was a little uncomfortable with the sun shining on him as he spoke to the media while seated on a picnic bench just outside the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field.
“You get scared of the sun, man,” he said.
Scary is right. But if a tough ballplayer (mostly) can summon the gumption to see a skin specialist and get checked out, so can Average Joe and Josephine.
Schmidt hit 548 home runs and is regarded by many as the finest defensive third baseman of his time, if not all-time.
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