Diamondbacks' Derrick Hall has cancer

Updated: September 20, 2011, 9:21 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall has prostate cancer, and he has made his condition public to help others realize the importance of early detection.

The 42-year-old executive said he underwent a biopsy last Wednesday and that he was "leaning very strongly" toward the option of surgery. He said he wanted to wait until after the baseball season to undergo the operation, probably sometime in November.

"I'm very optimistic," he said before Arizona played Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. "They caught it very early."

Hall's boss, managing general partner Ken Kendrick, is a prostate cancer survivor. Kendrick underwent surgery seven years ago and said he is cancer-free.

"This is not a disease people should be afraid of," Hall said. "It's something they should get out in front of."

Hall, whose father has pancreatic cancer, said he was talking with closer J.J. Putz in San Diego on Saturday when he got the call that he had the disease. The next day, Putz earned his 41st save, and gave the game ball to Hall.

He said he was surprised at the diagnosis, considering his age, but has learned that it is showing up more regularly for men in their 40s.

"I see this really as an opportunity," he said. "I'm honored to be able to share the message and educate others to take care of themselves."

Hall was named Diamondbacks president in September 2006 and added CEO to the title in January 2009.

He worked for parts of 12 seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Hall and his wife, Amy, have three children.

The diagnosis came with the Diamondbacks on the brink of clinching the NL West title. The diagnosis was announced in a news release, then Hall and Kendrick met with reporters later in the day.

"I certainly don't want it to be a distraction because it's not," Hall said. "We came out with a release because word was trickling out anyway."

Kendrick said many people would want to go through with treating cancer privately.

"But Derrick is a different guy," Kendrick said urging men to get regular testing because the survival rate is so high if the cancer is detected early.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press