Dave Roberts, whose stolen base for Boston in the 2004 playoffs sparked the Red Sox to an elusive World Series championship, is being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Roberts was diagnosed in mid-March and he says the cancer was detected early. He says the prognosis is "good." He has undergone two rounds of chemotherapy so far.
The 37-year-old Roberts is working for the San Diego Padres as a special assistant. He was scheduled to talk about his health later Monday.
Roberts played 10 seasons in the majors for Cleveland, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco. The speedy outfielder retired after the 2008 season with the Giants, then worked in television last year for the Red Sox.
Roberts spent part of the 2004 season rehabbing with the Ogden Raptors.
Roberts was a career .266 hitter with 243 steals. His biggest highlight came in Game 4 of the 2004 AL championship series, where Boston was three outs away from getting swept by the New York Yankees.
With the Red Sox down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park, Roberts entered as a pinch-runner after Kevin Millar drew a leadoff walk from Mariano Rivera. Roberts stole second on the first pitch and later scored the tying run on a single by Bill Mueller.
The Red Sox went on to win 6-4 in 12 innings, then became the first team in major league history to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a postseason series. Roberts was on the World Series roster, but did not play as Boston swept St. Louis for its first championship since 1918.
In fact, Roberts did not get to bat at all in the 2004 postseason. Yet his steal was credited as spurring the Red Sox toward their title.
Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield was among Roberts' teammates that year.
"It's saddening to hear that a guy which has such great character as Dave Roberts has was stricken with the illness. I'm optimistic that it's going to be treated and he'll live a long and healthy life," Wakefield said before Boston host the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
"We prayed for him in chapel yesterday. Hopefully, a lot of prayers go his way," he said.