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Dave Parker, Pittsburgh Pirates Legend, Has Parkinson's Disease

By by Glenn Minnis
on Aug 06, 2013 03:21 PM EDT
Dave Parker
Dave Parker

Pittsburgh Pirates legend Dave Parker is battling Parkinson’s disease, according to ESPN.

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A two time batting champion who led the Pirates to a World series title in 1978, a year after he was named the National League’s MVP, Parker told reporters he was first diagnosed with the disease in February of 2012 but only told a handful of friends. “

There’s no fear, Parker told ESPN. “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 hat. I have nothing to feel bad about.”

Parker reflected he first began to show symptoms of the disease when he started having tremors in his right hand, more recently he told reporters other issues have started to crop up.

“I’m nervous with public speaking, being put in any situation where I have to talk for a long time,” he said. Parker recently appeared at the Pirates’ annual Heritage Day event at PNC Park, where he openly talked with longtime Pirates director of alumni affairs Joe Billetdeaux.

“He looked good,” Billetdeaux told ESPN. “He said he has good days and bad days. For the most part, he’s dealing with it.”

A seven-time All-Star, Parker says his older sister also suffers from a more advanced stage of the disease.

 

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