Red Sox SP: Curt Schilling
Career Stats: 216-146, 3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, 3116 SO, 79.5 WAR
Year on Ballot: 10th
Current Percentage: 58.2%
There has not been a player in the history of the Hall of Fame who has caused more damage to his candidacy with his words than Curt Schilling. Schilling debuted on the ballot with a sold 38.8% of the vote and steadily gained support in the coming years.
Then came the tweet supporting the lynching of journalists, the sharing of a transphobic meme, the support of the January 6th insurrection, and, finally, the plea to the Hall of Fame to take him off the ballot.
All these controversies seem to have finally taken their toll, as Schilling has lost sixteen votes so far this year and has slipped from 70% of the vote to 56%. Now in his tenth year on the ballot, Schilling’s candidacy is on life support.
The two biggest knocks on Schilling are his relatively measly 216 wins and a mediocre 3.46 ERA. Both can be explained when put into context, however. Schilling’s lowly win total is a result of the late start to his career, as he didn’t have his full season until age 26 and his first All-Star season until age 30.
During his peak years of 1997-2004, he averaged 16 wins a year even while spending half of those years pitching for a terrible Phillies team. In the end, his win total is just three less than recent Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez.
Schilling’s ERA also needs to be put into context. His 3.46 ERA would be 71st among the 83 starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame. Yet it should be noted that Schilling played during the most hitter-friendly environment in the history of baseball in two of the most hitter-friendly ballparks (Chase Field and Fenway Park).
His 127+, which takes into account the run-scoring environment of the era and the ballpark a pitcher pitched in, is the same as first-ballot Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson.
The HOF monitor, in which a score of 100 represents a Hall of Fame-worthy player, rates Schilling at a lofty 171. His JAWS score of 64.0 is also above the Hall of Fame standard for starting pitchers (61.4). Yet it is highly likely that none of this is going to matter.
Schilling was just sixteen votes of election last year, but he’s already lost that many votes this cycle. It looks like Schilling will have to test his luck with the 16-man Veteran’s Committee in a few years.
Vote Prediction: 58%