Curt Schilling Had A Heart Attack At Age 44S

It's been a stressful few years for Curt Schilling, whose failed video game company earned him lawsuits and forced him to sell off his house and his bloody sock. How stressful? Bad enough that Schilling suffered a heart attack in 2011 while watching—not running, watching—the NYC Marathon.

We've heard the other sides. From Rhode Island taxpayers, who are on the hook for millions for a loan Schilling's 38 Studios couldn't pay back. From the state, which claims Schilling knowingly hid financial information to get that big fat loan. From his employees, who were suddenly and unceremoniously fired. But we've rarely heard Schilling's side of the story. That's exactly what this piece, from yesterday's Boston Globe, aims to do: make him a sympathetic figure by spelling how just how hard his business failures have hit him.

Shonda Schilling's line, "I don’t know how somebody would not kill himself, honestly, over what he has had to endure," is probably your money quote. But Curt says the stress almost got to him first:

It’s not worth having a heart attack over, a visitor tells him.

“Uh, I already did, actually,” says Schilling. “Yeah, I did, a couple of years ago. Nobody knows that, actually.”

[...]

“Outside of, like, personal family — losing my dad — it was the most devastating thing I’ve ever gone through,” he says, “and it’s still something I’m trying to bounce back from.

“It was so hard, because I had pushed and pushed and pushed. I had 300 families [of company employees] I had to take care of, including my own, and it failed.

“And I’ve lost a lot in my life but I’ve never failed at anything. I was going to [win] but I couldn’t get it done.”

Schilling, 46, later said that he wishes he hadn’t mentioned the heart attack. He knows this will be news, and he is reluctant to go into details about it.

“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.’’

Shonda ran a 4:58:50 in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, 2011. Schilling says he waited for her to finish, despite the discomfort he was in.

“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.

[...]

He wouldn’t totally blame the heart attack on stress related to 38 Studios — the video game company went bankrupt seven months later — but, he says, “I’m sure that was part of it.”

The profile is a sympathetic look at a man who, depending on who you talk to, either found himself in over his head, or knowingly defrauded Rhode Island for a loan that had no chance of being repaid. Schilling still blames Governor Lincoln Chafee, claiming he had an investor willing to put up the money to stay afloat, but the state didn't allow him the time.

Schilling—who by his wife's description is "beaten"—offered a single culpa: "Ultimately, it’s on me," he says. "I was the guy. At the end of the day, it failed because I failed to raise outside capital.”

Schilling is coaching his daughter's softball team now, and it sounds like the only thing in his life that brings him any joy. Relative joy, anyway.

"They played like dogshit," he says. "And they knew it."

So he called a team meeting. This would be the polar opposite of the famous "why not us?”"mantra he preached during the Red Sox’ 2004 championship season.

"I said, 'Here’s what’s going to happen. I will forfeit tomorrow’s game and you will go home. You’re not going to put this uniform on and go out there with what I saw today.'"

Never change, Curt.

Curt Schilling has a new lease on life [Boston Globe]