An early look at Phillies on 2020 Hall of Fame ballot

PHILADELPHIA , PA - SEPTEMBER 07: Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a second inning homerun against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on September 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA , PA - SEPTEMBER 07: Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a second inning homerun against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on September 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA – OCTOBER 11: Pitcher Curt Schilling #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies steps into a pitch during the National League Championship Series Game 5 on October 11, 1993 against the Atlanta Braves at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jim Gund/Getty Images) /

Curt Schilling

Looking solely at Schilling’s accolades, he has everything needed to be a Hall of Famer. Over a 20-year career, he totaled 569 appearances. He had a 216-146 record, 3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, 83 complete games, 20 shutouts, 3116 strikeouts, 3.23 fielding-independent pitching, 1.137 WHIP, and 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Schilling posted tremendous numbers in the playoffs as well with a 2.23 ERA and 0.968 WHIP in 19 starts. He was NLCS MVP in 1993 with the Phillies and World Series MVP in 2001 with the Diamondbacks. He was a key part in helping the Red Sox break the Curse of Babe Ruth in 2004 with the “Bloody Sock” game in the 2004 ALCS. His career ended with another World Series title in Boston in 2007.

Schilling was named an All-Star six times during his long career. He was a Cy Young runner-up three times and finished fourth once. He received MVP votes in the four years he also received Cy Young votes.

Now that Schilling the player is covered, let’s look at Schilling the person. He fell into hot water in 2015 when ESPN suspended him for a tweet comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis. ESPN fired Schilling a year later after an anti-transgender Facebook post relating to “bathroom bills”. Schilling has been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and received an endorsement from the president, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your political leanings.

Schilling’s vote total took a tumble in 2017 after he was fired by ESPN, going from 52.3% in 2016 to 45.0%. Support for him is back on the rise as he received 60.9% of votes this year. There are still hardliners who will not vote for him based on his beliefs, especially among private voters in the BBWAA.

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Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame case boils down to one question: do you vote for the player or the person? Time will tell which side of the debate will win out.