Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making the HOF Case: Curt Schilling

After Curt Schilling announced his official retirement yesterday, I have read many negative comments about his legacy, mostly based on his bigger than average ego it seems. Well, if ego excluded a player from the Hall, how can you explain Rickey Henderson's election this year?

Let's look objectively at the stats. Schilling was a 6-time All Star, a three-time Cy Young runner up, and a World Series co-MVP in 2001 (with D-Backs teammate Randy Johnson). Impressive stats, but there are indeed areas where his career could come up short. He only accummulated 216 wins, and his career ERA was 3.46.

His National League legacy was somewhat limited until he starred with the Diamondbacks from 2000-2003. His postseason resume rivals that of John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera in terms of success. His record in postseason play was 11-2, with a 2.23 ERA. His "bloody sock" exploits are well documented, and his ability to win the big games could be enough to warrant selection.

One of the most interesting part's of Schilling's career was that he was on the side of many one-sided trades in his career:

  • From Boston to Baltimore for Mike Boddicker
  • From Baltimore to Houston for Glenn Davis (along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch)
  • From Houston to Philadelphia for Jason Grimsley
  • From Philly to Arizona for Omar Daal, Travis Lee, Nelson Figueroa, and Vicente Padilla
  • From Arizona to Boston for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, and Jorge de la Rosa

Thus it appears that even during his career, Schilling was undervalued and underappreciated. In this writer's opinion, Schilling deserves the call, but probably will not be elected on the first ballot. I foresee his fate being similar to that of Bert Blyleven, who will eventually be enshrined but after a laborious journey.

No comments:

Post a Comment