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Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame Problem

Curt Schilling’s baseball career is the stuff of legends. However, his post-playing career might leave him with a black eye, and without a plaque.

Curt Schilling by Andrew Malone is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame Problem


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

The Hall of Fame Ballot is always one of contention, of anguish and of rage. Last year, we were all throwing our arms up over that one guy from Worcester who refused to vote for Mariano Rivera. His reasoning? The Closer is the easiest position, all it requires you to do is get three outs.

That guy sucks.

And then years before we had Dan Le Batard sell his Cooperstown ballot to Deadspin. Why would he do such a thing? Because the BBWAA goes a little nuts with all of this.

Before we go any further, Larry Walker and Derek Jeter should be getting plaques in Cooperstown. Larry Walker was one of the greatest hitters of the late-90s and early 2000s, and Derek Jeter is Derek Jeter. Let them in. Simple.

The “anarchy inside the cathedral,” as Le Batard calls it, will more than likely come alive yet again this year as Curt Schilling sits at 78% of the 51.4% ballots that have been made public.

Since he’s stayed above guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, Schilling has received a lot of publicity. That’s both good and bad for his candidacy in Cooperstown. Why? Because their are two different Curt Shillings.

The first Curt Schilling is the guy with the bloody sock who helped power the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years. There’s the pitcher who was part of the two-headed dragon that put baseball on the map in Arizona. That Curt Schilling is the stuff of legend, he’s mythic and he’s nasty.

According to Jay Jaffe’s JAWS, an analytic tool used to determine a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness, Schilling ranks 25th out of every pitcher to ever play the game. Below Schilling are names like Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine and the legendary flamethrower Nolan Ryan. By the metric of his gameplay, Schilling ticks the boxes.

But that’s where the other Schilling takes over.

The Curt Schilling that writes for Breitbart, that collects Nazi Memorabilia. the one who shared a transphobic meme on his facebook, leading to his firing at ESPN. The former World Series Champion that defrauded the state of Rhode Island out of $75 million dollars thanks to his video game company, 38 Studios.

That Curt Schilling is more than likely the reason he’ll be left out of the Class of 2020.

I, much like Curt Schilling, am a proud believer in the first ammendment. You are more than welcome to think he’s a good guy, voicing his opinions. I vehemently disagree with the majority of what he says, but that’s because he doesn’t speak to my truth. And weirdly, my problem is that he doesn’t speak to any truth.

When fired from ESPN for posting a transphobic meme, Schilling put out a statement saying “I’m not transphobic, I’m not homophobic. As long as you’re not sleeping with my wife, I don’t care who you sleep with.”

So there’s obviously a problem here. Curt Schilling says, “That’s not me, not me at all, here’s a joke showing I don’t understand what happened.”

He then added, “If in my past I’d ever been a racist or I had ever said something racist, or if I had ever been transphobic or homophobic, somebody somewhere would have said something I’m sure given my status.”

Curt… does this ring a bell?

“It’s said that only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”

You tweeted that out with a picture of Adolf Hitler. You were suspended from ESPN because of it. So yeah, when you did say something racist, someone (YOUR EMPLOYER) said something about it.

Here’s the other thing, Curt… you just did both of those things in the action that caused your termination. You’ve literally described the reason you were fired.

And here’s where the real issue begins. So Curt Schilling states “I would never say that. I don’t believe that. Why would I say that?”

And then he says this…

“If that job meant I had to continue doing it to put a roof over the head of my family and food on the table, I’m probably acting a little differently than I did. In the sense that I get it, a lot of people can’t or won’t jeopardize what they do for a living to be and espouse the things that they believe and are. I’m not that guy. I’m not dependent on other people to support my family for the rest of my life.” 

Curt Schilling went from “I don’t believe this, that’s not me” to “I 100% believe that” at the drop of a hat. Because Curt Schilling is a hack.

That’s my personal belief on the situation. Take it with a grain of salt. We’re at an impasse within the Hall of Fame voting. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are approaching their final years, gaining more and more votes. So the question then begins to shift from “how did you play the game?” to “What do you say about the game?”

Curt Schilling answers both of those questions, on the complete opposite sides of the world, and that’s the reason he should be left out of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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