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Baseball Hall of Famer and Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt revealed that he battled stage 3 melanoma, but says he feels great now.
Schmidt told Philly.com that he was diagnosed in August and already underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He recently arrived in Clearwater, Fla. and said latest scans showed that he was clear of the cancer.
“I feel fantastic right now,” the 64-year-old said.
However, the treatments did keep him from his usual spring training gig as a guest hitting instructor, notes The Associated Press. He does plan on staying on as a member of the Phillies’ broadcast team for 13 Sunday home games. Schmidt said that he’ll be able to return as a hitting instructor next spring.
“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 recalled to Philly.com. “I was hoping I would never see anything like that. But it became normal for me, for over a month.”
Schmidt, who looked healthy when he arrived in Clearwater, said he is “the luckiest man alive.”
Schmidt helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series and was named MVP of the series. He hit 548 home runs and retired in 1989. He played for the Phillies his entire career.
The former player said that the moral of his story is to get your skin checked early. “I caught it early,” he told Philly.com. “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.”