Ted Berg USA TODAY
Published 9:04 AM EST Jan 10, 2019
USA TODAY Sports is counting down the top 10 candidates on the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in advance of the Jan. 22 election results. The countdown is based on voting by our power rankings panel, which includes five Hall voters.
No. 8: Curt Schilling
He came late to greatness, and his best years overlapped with those of a handful of all-time great starters already in Cooperstown, but Schilling has twice landed on more than 50% of ballots – most recently in 2018.
One of the few truly divisive candidates for enshrinement who were never associated with performance-enhancing drugs, Schilling’s Hall hopes have not been helped by his somewhat frequent online indiscretions.
A right-leaning political firebrand whose failed video-game company cost Rhode Island taxpayers millions, Schilling has created headlines in his post-playing days by gleefully sharing specious xenophobic, transphobic and conspiratorial memes.
Ironically, Schilling was known for exquisite control on the pitcher’s mound.
The case for
Outside of Roger Clemens, Schilling is the only pitcher with more than 3,000 career strikeouts not yet in the Hall of Fame. He landed in the top 10 of his league in ERA+ 10 times, and finished with a 127 career mark that outmatches those of all-time greats like Tom Seaver, Juan Marichal and Bob Feller.
One of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time, Schilling won World Series MVP honors and a championship ring on the heels of a brilliant October with the Diamondbacks in 2001, then helped author one of the greatest comebacks in MLB playoff history with his bloody-sock heroics for the title-bound Red Sox against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. He picked up his third ring as part of the 2007 Red Sox in his final season, and finished with a lifetime 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts.
The case against
Schilling spent the early part of his career pitching for mostly lousy Phillies teams and finished with only 216 career wins, well below the traditional Hall of Fame benchmark of 300 for starting pitchers.
His 3.46 ERA was excellent by the standards of his contemporaries, but looks pedestrian when compared with great pitchers from before and after the sport’s so-called steroids era. While he long ranked among the league’s best starting pitchers, he was never even the best starting pitcher on his own team during his best seasons, pitching alongside Randy Johnson in Arizona.
Many of the knocks on Schilling have more to do with his mouth and Twitter thumbs than his big right arm. He once jokingly endorsed the lynching of journalists, which multiple Hall of Fame voters have cited in the past as reason to leave him off the list. Few if any writers seem terribly eager to hear what he’d have to say in an induction speech.
He still appears unlikely to reach the 75% threshold necessary for enshrinement in this, his seventh year on the ballot, but Schilling should see another bump in 2019.
Schilling’s case is strong, and voters seem increasingly willing to ignore the ballot’s so-called “character clause” and evaluate candidates based on on-field merit only. The transgressions working against him are entirely different than those working against Clemens and Barry Bonds, but his candidacy seems in some way tied to theirs nonetheless.
- No. 10: The case for Gary Sheffield
- No. 9: The case for Fred McGriff
Follow Berg on Twitter @OGTedBerg
- Baseball Hall of Fame voting results: 2021 has empty class as Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds fall short
- No candidates elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 2021
- Larkin Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
- Baseball Hall of Fame voting: Nine players make Matt Snyder's hypothetical 2021 ballot
- Baseball Hall of Fame 2020 voting results, updates: Derek Jeter, Larry Walker head to Cooperstown
- Baseball Hall of Fame voting: Why Scott Rolen, Todd Helton look like they're eventually headed for Cooperstown
- Who joins Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2022? Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz among big-name newcomers
- Yadier Molina's Hall of Fame case is perplexing, but here's why the catcher is deserving
- Johnny Bench Misses His Hall of Fame Friends
- It’s Time to Reconsider Barry Bonds for the Hall of Fame
- Salman Khan says will release 'Radhe' in theatres when the pandemic subsides and it is safe for people to go to cinema halls
- FBI unseals documents on hit scheme of Kobe Bryant accuser
- 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame induction: Live stream, time, TV channel, watch online as Derek Jeter headlines
- Baseball Hall of Fame induction 2021: Live stream, time, TV channel, watch online as Derek Jeter headlines
- Todd Helton could be inching toward Hall of Fame enshrinement in the future, but do the numbers back his case?
- Andruw Jones is one of the best defensive outfielders ever; so why doesn't he have more Hall of Fame support?
- Two Elected to Hall of Fame; McGwire Misses
- Why there isn't a single Asian player in the Baseball Hall Of Fame
- Rockies’ Larry Walker: From hockey wannabe to baseball Hall of Famer
- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit: Details
Hall of Fame: Curt Schilling's case hit by 'character clause' have 820 words, post on eu.usatoday.com at January 9, 2019. This is cached page on Asean News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.