Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Schmidt battled Stage 3 skin cancer

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt underwent a month of chemotherapy and a month of radiation after being diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma late last summer.

Schmidt battled Stage 3 skin cancer

Hall of Famer and former Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt speaks at a news conference at the team´s spring training complex on Sunday, March16, 2014. (Mike Carlson/AP)
Hall of Famer and former Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt speaks at a news conference at the team's spring training complex on Sunday, March16, 2014. (Mike Carlson/AP)

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma in August and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment in the months that followed.

But when he arrived to Clearwater, Fla., to begin his second tenure with the Phillies broadcast team, Schmidt said the latest scans on his body have been clear.

“I feel fantastic right now,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt, 64, was unable to perform his regular duties as a spring training guest instructor this year due to his health. A day after Phillies camp opened last month, on Feb. 14, Schmidt was undergoing his last round of chemotherapy.

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“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.

Schmidt also invoked the words of another baseball Hall of Famer. Using the words made famous by Lou Gehrig, Schmidt called himself the “the luckiest man alive” for making a random trip to his dermatologist late last summer.

“I was doing a closing on a house and I had a thing on my hand,” Schmidt said. “I just went in and said, ‘Can you look at this?’ and he said, ‘Why don’t I take a look at your whole body while you’re here. Obviously the moral of the story is, everybody, get your skin checked. I think at least once a month, now that I know what I know. I caught it early. If I hadn’t gone into see my dermatologist in late August, I might still have it. It might be more than Stage 3. Even though that was a tough couple months, I’m a very lucky man.”

Schmidt will work the first few innings of today's broadcast on CSN, beginning his "Sundays with Schmidt" with the network. Schmidt will work as an analyst for all 13 Sunday home games this season. 

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