Former Phillies ace Curt Schilling falls short of Hall of Fame yet again

Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies star Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame case was denied by the Contemporary Era Committee.

Curt Schilling’s 10th and final year on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot last winter saw the former Philadelphia Phillies ace miss out on enshrinement once again. After garnering at least 70 percent of the vote for consecutive years, his approval dipped significantly to 58.6 percent.

Every three years, the Contemporary Era Committee gives another opportunity for players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame if they previously missed out. This is only available to applicants who do not have any years remaining on their BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) ballot. The committee is made up of 16 former MLB players, executives, and other important baseball names. At least 12 votes (or 75 percent) were required for a player to get in.

The only player who received a Hall of Fame election through the committee was Fred McGriff — a candidate worthy of enshrinement. However, are there other names that should have been included with the “Crime Dog”? There absolutely are, and Schilling should have been right there with him.

Almost all players of Schilling’s caliber are future Hall of Famers — or are already inducted. He is a six-time All-Star, holds a 2.23 ERA in 133 1/3 postseason innings, and pitched for 20 years in the majors. Further, he finished second in Cy Young voting three times and shared the World Series MVP award with Randy Johnson in 2001. His bloody sock performance during Game 6 of the improbable 3-0 series comeback against the New York Yankees is a moment that will never be forgotten in baseball history.

Schilling’s time in Philadelphia was not as impressive as his stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks or Boston Red Sox. However, he still spent nearly half of his 20-year career in red pinstripes. During that time, he made three All-Star teams while pitching to a 3.35 ERA and 101-78 record. He even won the 1993 NLCS MVP, despite the Phillies’ eventual loss to Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series.

There is no question as to why Schilling has not been voted into the Hall of Fame. No one can deny that he was one of the greatest pitchers of his generation. He has the longevity and the numbers, and is one of the most dominant postseason pitchers of all time. The real reason why he has not received a plaque yet is due to controversy regarding his political views. But should his views take away the things he has done in MLB?

Unlike some other baseball greats, Schilling never violated the integrity of the game. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, and many others are presumed or have admitted to the use of steroids. Schilling is among the players who has never been suspected of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The next Contemporary Era Committee voting will take place in 2025, but it is quite clear that Schilling’s days as a Hall of Fame hopeful are likely over. After receiving approval from only 7 of the 16 voters, it is unlikely that we ever see the former Phillies pitcher enshrined into Cooperstown.

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