The Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot is always one of contention, of anguish, and often one of rage. A few years ago, 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.
A few 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 sometimes.
The “anarchy inside the cathedral,” as Le Batard calls it, almost came alive as Curt Schilling earned 70% of the vote in 2020, just 20 votes shy of making the cut.
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 in the eyes of some BBWAA voters there are two very 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 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.
This Curt Schilling is the one that writes for Breitbart, 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 was left out of the Class of 2020… or at least, I hope it is.
I, much like Curt Schilling, am a proud believer in the first amendment. 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, namely YOUR EMPLOYER, said something about it.
Here’s the other thing, Curt… you just did both of those things in the act that caused your termination. You’ve literally described the reason you were fired.
And here’s where the real issue begins. 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.
We’re at an impasse within the Hall of Fame voting and, frankly, Hall of Fame voters. 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 should be reason enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, and not even gain an ounce of consideration.
So when multiple BBWAA voters are clamoring to change their votes before they are tabulated, I am the least apologetic about saying they should no longer be allowed to vote.
This wave of voters comes after Curt Schilling tweeted the following, in support of the domestic terrorist insurrection at the US Capitol Building on January 6th.
“You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan’s and big screens, sit back [shut up] and watch folks start a confrontation for [s–t] that matters like rights, democracy and the end of [government] corruption. #itshappening.”
It should also be pointed out that voters are advised to base their votes upon a “player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution…” So can someone tell me at what point Curt Schilling ticks the boxes on integrity and character? When did he ever?
These 117 BBWAA voters might be struggling to change their votes, but it doesn’t change the fact that a portion of the Cooperstown voting base didn’t think EVERYTHING UP UNTIL JANUARY 6TH WASN’T ENOUGH TO KEEP SCHILLING OUT OF THE HALL OF FAME.
That’s right. 117 BBWAA voters still believe that Curt Schilling should be given a place in Cooperstown.
This is like 127 members of Congress opposing the legal Electoral results, then calling for unity.
Seriously? At what point did Curt Schilling’s bloody sock outweigh his penchant for collecting Nazi Memorabilia? At what point did his posts about LYNCHING JOURNALISTS become less significant than his 2001 season?
And what makes all of this worse, is that voting began this past fall. These BBWAA voters just thought they could skate by and not have to worry about getting dunked on about voting for Schilling. Can you imagine, after the tumultuous year we’ve had of civil unrest, of reckoning with racial injustice, and of white supremacy and insurrection, still voting for Curt Schilling?
What are we doing here, BBWAA?
The BBWAA might need to take a closer look at the role it plays in our society, and whether or not its members reflect the kind of people they wish to be associated with.
Clean it up, BBWAA. History has its eyes on you, and you are running out of chances to get things right.
And if you wanna know if your local baseball writer voted for Schilling, you can find out HERE.
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