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Hall of Fame Poll: Curt Schilling

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Would you vote Curt Schilling into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Milwaukee Brewers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Curt Schilling is on the ballot for the 9th time, last year he was on 70.0% of the voters’ ballots a 10% jump from the season before. He is likely to make it this year.

Schilling had a 216-146 record, but things seem to click for him at age 30. After he turned 30 he won 162 games, winning over 20 haves 3 times, finishing 2nd in Cy Young voting 3 times and making 6 All-Star teams. When guys, especially of that time, get better into their 30s, I question how it happened.

He has 3 World Series rings (we beat out his Phillies in 1993, or he would have 4). He was co-MVP for the 2001 World series. And you likely remember the ‘bloody sock’ from 2004. In 19 playoff starts, he is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA. A good part of the case for the Hall is his performance in the playoffs.

I’m going to use Craig Calcaterra’s words (from his newsletter Cup of Coffee) to make the case against him. If you like your morning baseball read mixed with talk about Bob Dylan, Columbo episodes and some politics, it is well worth the $6 a month. Anyway, I’m borrowing from his post about Schilling:

I am also, in saying I would not support Schilling for the Hall of Fame, not making this about politics, which is a thing people tend to say you’re doing when you say you wouldn’t vote for Schilling. The claim goes that Schilling detractors are liberals, he’s a conservative and that that’s why we dislike him and oppose his Hall of Fame candidacy. Such a charge is preposterous.

Most baseball players are pretty conservative. The clear majority in the modern game are, I imagine. I do not withhold my praise or admiration of any players because of what political party they support or their views on taxes, or abortion, or religion, or the proper role of the military, or government regulation or whatever else has been the subject of legitimate political discourse or controversy in this country over the years, nor would I withhold an awards or Hall of Fame vote if I had one.

I would not withhold a vote because a guy was a Trump supporter like Schilling is. Mariano Rivera is an extraordinarily open Trump supporter, wearing the MAGA hat and attending Trump rallies and all, and I would’ve voted for him ten times if someone gave me a ballot to do so. Indeed, I’d guess that Trump support among ballplayers runs markedly higher than in the population at large and even higher than it does among Republicans at large, and my appreciation of a ballplayer’s career has never hinged on that. In light of all of that, the argument that I am discounting Schilling’s career and withholding my imaginary Hall of Fame vote from him because of “politics” is utter baloney.

My problem with Schilling is not that he’s got bad politics as such. It’s that he has gone out of his way over the past several years to show himself to be a demonstrably awful human being who has used his considerable platform to propagate hatred.

Schilling has spread conspiracy theories that survivors of school massacres were paid crisis actors and has voiced his support of the so-called “QAnon theory” which holds that a cabal of “globalist elites” — transparent antisemitic code — are engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring and wish to commit a coup d’état in America. Schilling has espoused transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, and has promoted the idea that violence against those with whom he disagrees — particularly the media — is at best a laughing matter and, arguably, is a good idea.

I don’t know what Schilling considers himself to be, politically speaking, but such views are objectively extremist and could properly be considered fascist. I have no idea if Schilling is “joking” when he espouses these views. I do not know if, in his heart of hearts, he believes them or if he believes other things and thinks that he’s actually a good and compassionate person. But we are not what we believe in our heart of hearts. We are what we do, and what he has done is to use his considerable celebrity to spread lies, conspiracy theories and hatred, the sort of which have gotten people killed in the past and will get more people killed in the future. He has not done this as some dumb, one-off comment in an interview nor has he done it ignorantly in a way that might lead one to believe he’s simply uninformed, easily swayed, or perhaps not well, mentally speaking. He is an intelligent man who has consciously pursued the agenda he has followed as a means of making himself a media star or, potentially, a political candidate. It’s odious. And it’s dangerous.

We may live in a time in which people claim that even the most extreme views are legitimate, but that’s a lie too. There is still right and wrong in the world and that which Curt Schilling has made the conscious decision to stand for is wrong. It is evil. He’s free to stand for it as we have the freedom in this country to be wrong, but it in no way obligates anyone to nod at him and to say his views are just as good as anyone else’s. It certainly does not obligate anyone to say that he is entitled to the highest honor in what once was his field but which he has abandoned because he’s more interested in spreading toxicity than anything else.

This just a portion of his Case Against Schilling, but I’m sure you get the point.

I agree with Craig that there is a difference between politics and “right and wrong”. It think you can be right or left of me and be a good person. And I don’t think you can excuse being a lousy person by saying it is politics. If you can, we are doing this wrong.

If I were a reporter, I’d have a hard time voting for a guy who thinks it’s funny to joke about hanging journalists. I’m old enough to feel that’s over the line. And that isn’t politics.

On the plus side, Schilling is a fan of OOTP Baseball: “The only baseball sim I’ve ever gotten addicted to”.

I don’t think he is a slam dunk on his stats, like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. I think Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. I think Clemens should be too, but I wouldn’t be able to vote for him. Schilling? He’s on a whole different scale.

His career stats are here.

Poll

Would you vote Curt Schilling into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Yes
    (112 votes)
  • 63%
    No
    (192 votes)
304 votes total Vote Now