Dave Parker says he has Parkinson's

Updated: August 6, 2013, 7:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pittsburgh Pirates great Dave Parker told a newspaper that he is battling Parkinson's disease.

Parker, who led the Pirates to a World Series title in 1979, told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he was first diagnosed in February 2012, but informed only a few friends. The 1978 National League MVP and two-time batting champ said the Parkinson's has not progressed rapidly.

[+] EnlargeDave Parker
AP Photo/FileDave Parker won the MVP award in 1978.

"There's no fear," Parker told the Tribune-Review. "I've had a great life. I always dreamt of playing baseball, and I played. I'm 62 years old and fortunate to make it to this point. I have some beautiful kids that I got to watch grow up and become adults. My fingerprints are on the baseball industry. I feel good about that. I have nothing to feel bad about."

The disease first manifested in a tremor in his right hand, but other issues have cropped up, according to the report.

"I'm nervous with public speaking, being put in any situation where I have to talk for a long time," the seven-time All-Star told the Tribune-Review, saying that he told only a few friends, including Pirates director of alumni affairs Joe Billetdeaux, who spoke with him during the team's Heritage Day in May at PNC Park.

"He looked good," Billetdeaux said in the report. "He said he has good days and bad days. For the most part, he's dealing with it."

Parker also said his older sister has a more advanced form of the disease, according to the report.


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