If you assumed the reason Curt Schilling might never make the Hall of Fame (HOF) is for performance-enhancing drug (PED) use, which was why users like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied the HOF, you’re wrong.
Schilling has never taken PED’s in his life.
No, the reason why HOF voters may omit Curt Schilling from the HOF forever is because of his conservative political stance. Schilling – who also became an analyst for ESPN after his baseball career – has always been outspoken on his political views. In fact, he was actually let go from the network as a result of it.
The incident that got Schilling fired was when he shared his viewpoint on the transgender-bathroom climate while on the sports network. Schilling had said:
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
Maybe ESPN wasn’t the appropriate arena to confess his viewpoint. But firing him as a result of an honest opinion? That’s ridiculous. It’s like an analyst being fired for proclaiming Michael Jordan isn’t the greatest player of all time.
But the sensitivity and the outrage in response to Schilling’s honest opinion is what’s pathetic.
Let’s talk stats. Schilling is currently in the amazing 3,000 strikeout club. None of the three honorees who made the most recent vote – Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriquez, and Tim Raines – even made the 3,000 hit club.
Though Bagwell (.297 BA, 1,529 RBI, 449 HR), Rodriguez (311 HR, 1,332 RBI, .296 BA), and Raines (.303 BA, 1,571 R, 808 SB) can make a solid – if not strong – case for Cooperstown credentials, Schilling, by helping carry three different clubs to the World Series, should be an open and shut case for an HOF honor.
Wallace Matthews told New York Sportsday:
“I have voted for Schilling in the past, based on his superior career WAR (80.7, higher than that of Tom Glavine, Don Sutton, Jim Palmer, Bob Feller, and yes, even Sandy Koufax) and his outstanding post-season numbers.
His personal views have often troubled and at times offended me — he is an unabashed collector of Nazi memorabilia — but I have kept that out of my thought process. Until, that is, about a month ago, when he retweeted a photo of a man wearing a T-shirt advocating the lynching of journalists, with the comment, ‘OK, so much awesome here.”
Another Red Sox (one of the franchises Schillings carried to and won the World Series with) beat writer, Dan Shaughnessy said:
“Count me out on Curt Schilling. I have held my nose and voted for the Big Blowhard in recent years (11-2 in postseason, ridiculous walk/strikeout ratio), and he was up to 52.3 percent (75 percent required) last year, but I shall invoke the ‘character’ clause this year. Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society.”
A menace? Wow. Those are harsh words for an “objective” sports journalist.
However, there are some sports journalists who hold a ballot vote – the vote is revealed on ESPN’s popular show Around the Horn – who firmly believe it’s a “shame” he might never get in because of his polarizing political stance.
Getting into the HOF is tough too. It requires a vote on 75-percent of ballots and Schilling received just 45-percent. His stance is even more polarizing than obviously apparent PED users like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who received more votes than Schilling.
But it’s not like ESPN and other sports journalists didn’t know of his political views. Even while he was still playing, he campaigned for George W. Bush in 2004. Yet they somehow equate his position to having an all-time career in the MLB.
Schilling never faltered from his views though. He even announced recently he plans to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018 for her U.S. Senate seat, and he also ambitiously announced he would run for President in 2024 if Trump is re-elected in 2020. Why? Because he cares about our country.
Preventing a baseball player who is clearly qualified – in some cases, more qualified than current Hall of Famers – because of their political views is asinine.
And, if that really is the case, what could reasonably come next? Not inducting them because of their Christian views?
These anti-Trump HOF voters need a reality check.