Red Sox entry to HOF: Curt Schilling a must

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The annual ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame has been released.

The Hall of Fame is not on my special attentions list as through the years it has been watered down more than the whiskey at a sailor’s bar in Manila. The HOF is absolutely packed with players of questionable stature and others have been omitted for reasoning that escapes me. But that does not stifle me from my own Speaker’s Corner to express my deep-rooted angst over one exclusion.

The last ballot did catch my attention and I woke from my usual HOF stupor with a number dancing before my squinting eyes – 39.2%. That is not another exotic and mind numbing metric, but the vote total that Curt Schilling was blessed with by the baseball writers in 2014. Amazing!

My reaction last year focused on two areas: The first is that to a large segment Schilling may have to wait his turn since his career numbers may – at first glance – be borderline. The various statistical HOF monitors give his entry either a slight nod or a slight forget it. No player ever received a 100% vote. That alone should give some insight into exactly the mental faculties of some who manage to rummage through a ballot.

A second issue is Shilling himself. An ardent conservative who is outspoken about his political and religious views. Is that enough to have some voters turn the thumbs down? Probably some, but certainly not enough to scuttle his entry. A subsection to this is Schilling’s well-documented business failures that left the state of Rhode Island 75 Million short. That is money siphoned off public safety, schools and politicians extravagant expense account. Bad PR does not help the cause.

So, I will give some credence to door number one and the numbers debate, but those numbers really need to be examined in far greater detail with particular emphasis on what happens when the pressure cooker is fully operational.

Schilling never won a Cy Young Award, but his trophy case is not barren of awards. A World Series MVP, twice National League Pitcher of The Year, NCLS MVP and a Clemente Award and there are others. Even the Cy Young Award shows three-second place finishes and one-fourth. Not bad. However, to some voters the Cy Young Award is a benchmark similar to an Academy Award versus Critic’s Choice Awards.

Schilling had over 3,000 strikeouts (3116) is a career that finished with a 216-146 record while pitching for five teams. Schilling led the National League and American League once each in wins and tack on leading the NL four times in complete games. The six-time All-Star also had seasons that were affected by a variety of injuries that certainly diminished his win total.

More from BoSox Injection

As a Red Sox fan, one of the most – and to me – the most dramatic moment in team history is the “Bloody Sock.” This is now an immortalized moment and shows a competitive fire that few athletes have. Just that determination virtually washed away Schilling’s next season but became the most symbolic moment of extinguishing decades or forlorn misery.

That was one segment of an illustrious postseason performer who finished 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the playoffs. Four complete games in the playoffs during his career, including three in 2001 as Arizona eventually dismissed the Yankees for a WS Championship.

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The big stage is where you get props and Schilling is not a one trick pony, but among the very best big game pitchers in baseball history. When some of the post season exploits of the latest collection of “aces” are examined, Shilling is Everest and the remainder a sink hole in Florida.

Schilling is a valid entry into the HOF.