The case for keeping Schilling out of Cooperstown may be even more asinine. He’s not a cheater, some writers simply won’t vote for him because they don’t like him.
Schilling has become a controversial figure in his post-playing days. His political beliefs are often a hot topic, his public comments and tweets got him fired from his job at ESPN, and he wasted millions of dollars from the taxpayers in Rhode Island on his failed video game company. It didn’t help his cause when he “liked” a social media post that made a joke in ill-taste about lynching journalists. It’s probably not a great idea to make an enemy out of those who vote for the Hall of Fame.
So yeah, Schilling has made his fair share of mistakes and angered a lot of people. You may not agree with everything he says but that has nothing to do with what he accomplished on the field.
When Schill was on the mound, few were better during the era he played. He ranks 20th all-time among pitchers with 78.1 fWAR, won 206 games and tallied over 3,000 strikeouts. Schilling was a six-time All-Star who finished as the runner-up for the Cy Young three times.
The postseason stage is where Schilling shined brightest and that’s what puts him over the edge in this debate. He was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 playoff starts. Schilling won three World Series rings, including two with the Red Sox, and was named World Series MVP when his Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic.
The official BBWAA rules mention integrity and character as factors for voters to consider yet the Hall of Fame is full of racists, womanizers, cheaters, and others with questionable ethics. Some voters continue to hide behind this clause as an excuse to keep out a player they personally don’t like.
I have no beef with Schilling. The man has done nothing to me aside from leading my favorite team to a pair of championships and helping the franchise reverse an 86-year old curse. That, along with his career accolades, earns him my vote.