Nothing Schilling said last week influenced the Hall of Fame voters who have increasingly shown their support in recent years because ballots had to be cast by Dec. 31. It’s kind of funny how earlier voting might actually benefit one of Trump’s most devout supporters. Schilling, in his eighth year on the ballot, received 70% of the vote, an increase of 9.1% from the year before. A player needs 75% of the vote, so a similar jolt to last year’s and Schilling will be a Hall of Famer.
Despite the vitriol that flows freely from Schilling’s social media accounts, I still think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, and I wrote exactly that a year ago at this time.
Full disclosure: I have no say whether Schilling is elected. I stopped voting years ago because the people who run the Hall of Fame had no interest in either defining or eliminating the character clause that is part of the voting instructions. It simply states that “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Does that mean cheaters (PED users, for example) should be frowned upon? Does it mean racists and fascists should be left out? Perhaps these are better questions for the men already in the Hall of Fame, which is why I think they should have a say who is elected into their elite club.
For now, however, the people who run the Hall of Fame do not want its voters to know exactly what the word character means and the price they could be about to pay is giving Curt Schilling a platform to spread his demented view of the world.
Still, I think Schilling belongs in the Hall of Fame and I’m not alone.
“Let’s be honest, some people are already in the Hall of Fame who are not choir boys,” Phillies Wall of Famer Larry Bowa said. “Does Schill belong in the Hall of Fame? He’s a big-time pitcher, no question. When games were on the line in the playoffs and the World Series, he was the guy you wanted on the mound. He didn’t take drugs, but I know he says things that I just don’t understand.
“If you judge him on the baseball side he’s a Hall of Famer, but it will be interesting to see what he has to say during his speech.”
Schilling’s baseball career was interesting enough, and he should stick to that theme if he is fortunate enough to be elected later this month. You get the feeling, however, that he’ll have to give us his world view, and that’s not at all interesting or connected to reality.©2021 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.