RHP Curt Schilling
We’re going to knock the hard one right out of the way first.
By most standards, Curt Schilling should be a Hall of Famer. The 20-year veteran has a career 3.46 ERA, 216-146 record, 1.137 WHIP, 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is a six-time All-Star and thrice finished as the Cy Young runner-up, twice to Randy Johnson and once to Johan Santana in his ridiculous 2004 season.
Turning towards Baseball Reference’s Hall of Fame statistics, Schilling is better than the average Hall of Famer in most of them. He is above-average in Black Ink, Gray Ink, and Hall of Fame Monitor. Meanwhile, he ranks 27th among starting pitchers in JAWS, a metric that uses wins above replacement to compare Hall of Fame candidates to current members of the Hall. Schilling ranks above current Hall of Fame pitchers like Al Spalding, Mickey Welch, and Bob Feller.
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However, the detraction from Schilling as a Hall of Famer stems from his career after baseball, especially in the last few years. He was fired from ESPN after making several offensive tweets in regards to the North Carolina law which required transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice, as well as one comparing radical Islam to Nazism. He also uploaded a picture of a man wearing a shirt that supports lynching journalists. That alone probably hurt his Hall of Fame case, especially when being elected by a group of journalists.
Currently, Schilling has been added to ten ballots and dropped from 20 according to Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracker.
Several voters have invoked the “character clause” which says “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.” By claiming players like Schiling don’t have “character” or “integrity”, they leave them off their Hall of Fame ballot.
Schilling was a dominant pitcher during his career, and it would normally get him into the Hall with ease. However, his actions after his playing career ended soured his image to some voters. Only time will tell if he has enough supporters to get him into the Hall.