Curt Schilling Belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame
The great Curt Schilling is still involved with Major League Baseball
Curt Schilling is a prototypical American alpha male
Curt Schilling embodies everything good about the United States of America. He is in a lot of respects the ultimate example of a wasp Alpha male. He was a hall of fame level pitcher, but after retiring, he's went on to become a major part of the US media.
Yes, Curt Schilling is a bit of a big mouth. I would prefer to always have someone like Curt talking to me than someone who tells you what he knows you want to hear, so you'll shut up and like the guy. Curt doesn't pull punches. He shoots straight. In this day and age people act like being offended by a thing gives them special rights and privileges. It doesn't.
Curt Schilling is not afraid to hurt your precious little feelings. Curt Schilling doesn't tell people what they want to hear just to please them. Curt Schilling says what he thinks and what he feels, and because he's a white male, he gets into some hot water over it sometimes. As a white guy myself, I am ever so aware of how it is these days, white males are maybe the most scrutinized people on the planet.
Curt Schilling never runs from controversy
So Curt Schilling says some controversial things sometimes. Sometimes he pisses some people off. So what? Doesn't everyone do this at some point or another? John F. Kennedy once said something in one of his most famous speeches about how no man should ever run from controversy. I doubt Curt Schilling runs from anything, and if he does, it sure isn't controversy.
Oh hey, guess what? Curt sometimes hits a home run with his alpha male behavior. Has everyone forgot about how he had folks cheering when he got a little aggressive online concerning folks bullying his kid? He was being celebrated when that happened. Everyone loved the guy, at least for the week. Curt Schilling would make the ultimate example of how a dad who has a good looking daughter should deal with abusive men on the internet. He tracked down the hateful and abusive posters, and many of them lost their jobs, as they deserved to.
Curt Schilling was famous long before he became a mass media star, or villain
I'm not a very old guy. I'm 42 years old. I started watching Major League Baseball, rather obsessively, when I was 12 years old. I was a small kid, and I didn't get much bigger. The one thing I could do that would 'wow' people was for weighing about 130 pounds, I could fire a baseball at a much faster rate than persons who were a lot bigger than me could. I just had the mechanics down, and a healthy dose of fast twitch muscle fibers. So I grew up in Texas idolizing Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr.
There's nothing the slightest bit unique about any of that, except Nolan was my favorite guy before he even became a member of the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are the only team close enough to where I grew up for me to ever go and see. Thing here is, I admire the power pitchers, and the point is I always did. So Curt Schilling was always someone I followed in the box scores. If I could catch Curt pitching in a televised game, I was damned happy about it. He was a freaking hoss of a power pitcher.
I couldn't care less if Curt Schilling supported that fat idiot in North Korea. The guy Dennis Rodman hangs out with. I'd still like Curt Schilling because he was an amazing power pitcher. So I find it offensive when people act like Curt Schilling is some sort of bad guy for not loving Obama or whoever.
Curt Schilling and the famous bloody sock
Curt Schilling's famous bloody sock was once on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame
Curt Schilling is famous for a lot of reasons. Baseball should always be first on the list of those reasons. The man's freaking blood has been in the Hall of Fame. So he didn't make the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot, or the second, or whatever. He's got to go into the roster of Hall of Fame players for many reasons. The bloody sock incident is reason enough in and of itself. The bloody sock was in the Hall of Fame. Curt Schillings very blood was on display in the national Baseball Hall of Fame.
Have you got the picture yet. Pieces of this man have been displayed in the Hall of Fame dedicated to the sport the man is famous for having played. Someone literally payed $ 92, 613 US Dollars for the bloody bloody sock.
Curt Schilling was a late bloomer in Major League Baseball
So Curt Schilling was a late bloomer insofar as becoming the dominating right handed hurler he was in his prime. He didn't just start off in the MLB as the master competitor he became. Dwight Gooden started off with a bang, and he fizzled out. He's not in the Hall of Fame. Hey, so Curt only won 216 games. That's regular season. In the post-season Curt was a beast. There are a lot of pitchers in the baseball Hall of Fame who won fewer games than did Curt Schilling.
Does anyone remember Bob Lemon? He was a great pitcher. He had 207 regular season wins.How about Jesse Haines? I've never heard of that dude. He is in the Hall of Fame, he had 210 regular season victories. There are a lot of names of people I never got to see play, even on tv, who are in the Cooperstown shrine. Curt Schilling needs to be inducted.
Curt Schilling played and was at his very best during the height of the steroid era of hitters. There were literally juiced up players in every batting order he faced some seasons, and Curt still managed to dominate those juiced up batting lineups. The strike zone was even smaller then, and Curt struck out tons of steroid juiced monster men batting against him while the umpires wouldn't even give Curt the high strike.
Curt Schilling with the Philadelphia Phillies
Curt Schilling in the 1993 World Series
Curt Schilling became a great starting pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies
We won't be doing much of a Curt Schilling biography here. There's a nice, long Wikipedia page for that. Curt Schilling played for some teams before he ever got to Philadelphia, but it was in Philadelphia he first started to realize his potential as a Major League starting pitcher. He always had that big time right arm that shows the potential, but he hadn't been able to harvest its fruit until he became a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Curt had never played a full season in the Big Leagues with Baltimore or with Houston. The first year he played a full season as a starting pitcher was in 1992, and that is when I first heard the name of Curt Schilling. He had a good season in 1992, and then he had a better one in 1993. In 1993 Curt Schilling helped lead the Phillies to the World Series.
Curt tossed well over 200 innings those two years, but he wasn't yet the power monster strikeout pitcher he would later become. He'd have some poor years after the good seasons, his breakout years of 92' and 93. Then he'd go on to become someone associated with domination, and what I mean is loads and loads of strikeouts. But that's just me talking. Curt may feel differently about it, and you may too.
Back to that 1993 season and the World Series. Curt Schilling is a post season performer. He always rose to the occasion when the spotlights were on him. When it mattered the most, Curt Schilling took the ball to the mound, and he performed at a higher level in the clutch. This is the characteristic of the alpha athlete. Rising to the occasion. Among MLB pitchers with at least ten decisions in the post-season, Curt Schilling has the highest winning percentage of all of them-846 %. He won the National League Championship Series MVP in 93'. Later in the decade he became a perennial All Star.
Curt Schilling notches record-breaking strikeout
Curt Schilling and the 300 strikeout club
Striking out 300 batters in a season was always a very difficult feat. Thing is, it is increasingly difficult in this day and age because the Major League bullpens are so specialized. Management of a team, the coaching staff, and the front office - they invest big money in bullpen guys to protect the arms of the starting rotation guys. In short, they don't let pitchers pitch complete games much any more. So starting pitchers don't get to pitch as many innings as they used to do regularly. This makes reaching 300 strikeouts in a season hard to do. Curt Schilling did it 3 times. He almost pitched 4 seasons where he recorded 300 or more strikeouts, but he definitely accomplished this increasingly rare feat 3 times.
Clayton Kershaw had 300 strikeouts last season. Everyone knows Kershaw is something special. It wouldn't be too shocking were Max Scherzer to get 300 Ks in a year. A full season of Yu Darvish could do it too. But to do it 3 times in a career? That's a Hall of Fame arm, to do that. Roger Clemens, great and dominant as he was, never struck out 300 batters in a season. Tom Seaver? He never struck-out 300 batters in a year. Bert Blyleven? He never struck-out three hundred batters in a year either.
Curt Schilling also is in another club, an exclusive club. The 3,000 strikeout club. Everyone who has struck-out 3,000 is in the Hall of Fame. Except Schilling and Clemens. I can't even.
Curt Schilling used to eat innings at a level not seen at all today
So Curt Schilling was a throwback. Clemens was the same way too. We're talking about big men who threw big time heat, and threw it all night long. They baby the big right handed hurlers these days. The left handed ones too.
Curt Schilling prided himself on taking the mound and staying on it deep into games. Nine times in his career he tossed over 200 innings. Twice he led the National League in innings pitched.
Four different seasons he led the National League in complete games. In 1998 Curt Schilling threw 15 complete games. That's a huge number in today's world where pitchers hardly even get the opportunity to do that unless they've got a low pitch count, low hits given up, and a shutout on the line.
In 2014 Kershaw led the NL in complete games with six of them. You can bet there was a lot of second guessing going on. The media was probably on top of Don Mattingly thinking he was letting Clayton's precious arm get too many innings in. In 2015 Jake Arrieta led the NL in complete games. You know how many he had? Four. That's it, just 4.
Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated'
Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson
Curt Schilling was listed as being six feet and five inches tall. It takes Big Unit Johnson to make him look short. After struggling some with a bad team in the later years he spent in Philadelphia, Schilling wanted out. He wanted on a contending team. So he went to Arizona and paired with Randy Johnson as one of the parts of a devastating duo of pitchers.
Two years in a row Randy and Curt placed number one and then number two in the Cy Young voting. The years were 2001 and 2002. Both years the Cy Young award went to Randy Johnson. You know what? I bet Curt wasn't angry about any of that. Baseball is a team sport. Every ball-player wants to be on a good team, a winning team. So what if you are the second best in the entire league?
Curt Schilling refers to his former pitching partner, Randy Johnson, as the greatest left handed pitcher of all time. Curt is an alpha male to the extreme, but he's also realistic. He was humble, and says competing with Johnson made him better. They shared the World Series MVP award in 2001. They also shared the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award that year.
Curt Schilling with the Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling with the Boston Red Sox, and a tribute to his famously injured ankle
Curt Schilling with the Boston Red Sox
Despite all the great years in Philadelphia and with Arizona, Curt Schilling is most often remembered for being part of some great teams of the Boston Red Sox. Boston is an old town, and has long been associated closely with its baseball team. So Curt was on a bigger stage in Boston.
Curt was aging by the time he became a Red Sox starting pitcher. His fastball had lost some velocity, but he could still reach back and blow it by hitters when he needed to. Curt Schilling always had fantastic control. He hardly walked hitters, and his split finger fastball was always very very good, after he learned it. He lost nothing on the splitter.
Curt Schilling and his manliness in playing through injuries are things seldom seen these days. Oh the bloody sock game is famous, or infamous, but there is something which impresses me more. Curt Schilling is so infamous for having played through tendon injuries on his ankles there is a medical procedure now bearing his name, the Schilling Tendon Procedure. Who can top this? Tommy John surgery is more famous, but we're not comparing Curt to Tommy. We should be though. My thoughts are that Both of them should be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
So the old curse of the Bambino died. Curt Schilling and the Schilling Tendon Procedure are two of the things that killed the curse. Total Hall of Fame stuff, that.
But Curt Schilling is known as a big mouth now. You watch old videos and you hear Curt say things about how honored and privileged he is to have been a part of the World Series winning teams he was on. Honored and privileged. That's not the way people talk in the NFL. Aren't athletes supposed to say how great they are? That's not how Curt Schilling spoke. He spoke of how honored and privileged he felt. Even playing at 3/4 ability due to injury, Curt Schilling was a class act all the way.
1989 Donruss Baseball Curt Schilling Rookie Card
Curt Schilling deserves to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame
So the point of this whole article has been to build a case for Curt Schilling being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. I've been to the hall of fame, and I've been a huge baseball fan for 30 years now. I'm 42 years old. I've known of Curt Schilling for forever, but only as a fan of baseball here in Texas.
I've never seen the man perform in person. I sure watched a lot of him pitching on television. He had always shone like the Sun when the baseball team he was on needed the sunlight the most. That he was a terrific performer in the clutch is one of the major cases for Curt being in the Hall of Fame. As was mentioned his post season winning percentage is higher than anyone else's. He recorded over 3,000 strikeouts. He pitched over 3,000 innings. He pitched in 20 MLB seasons. His strikeout to walk ratio is second to only that of Tommy Bond.
Curt Schilling was a six time All Star. He never won a Cy Young award, but he placed in the top five of the Cy Young voting 4 different seasons, twice losing out to the utterly phenomenal team-mate, Randy Johnson. He's in the top 100 all time in wins with his 216. Then there are the newfangled statistics everyone loves so much, and Curt Schilling evaluated retrospectively scores very high in many newer statistics such as wins above replacement. His 300 strikeouts seasons were something pretty exclusive, and he almost had 4 of those. The amount of complete games and innings he'd have in a season are things we may never see the likes of again.
The 'sins' of Curt Schilling are ridiculous. He's guilty of being out-spoken in his conservative political values. He's continued in baseball as a color analyst, and there are men in the Baseball Hall of Fame for only ever being announcers or analysts, or whatever you wish to describe such persons as. Curt Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame for his playing career alone, but then when you add into it all his post-player career in baseball, baseball just isn't baseball without Curt Schilling. A great man like Curt speaks his mind, and you can read his thoughts, as he is rather outspoken, in his own words on his blog. His greatness isn't just limited to baseball, but is also found in the embodiment of an American male who achieved all he could, never slowing down even when in pain. That, my friends, is my case for Curt. Thank you for reading.