Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was not voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, and in a lengthy letter to the Hall of Fame he later posted to Facebook, he asked not to be included on next year’s ballot.
Schilling, who finished with 71.1 percent of the vote, was 16 votes short of being selected — the closest of any player on the ballot. He helped the Red Sox claim the 2004 and 2007 World Series’, and his performance in the famous “Bloody Sock game” helped Boston rally to defeat the New York Yankees. Schilling’s Hall of Fame credentials include six All-Star appearances, three World Series victories, and a World Series MVP.
The guidelines for Hall of Fame voters read 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.”
Schilling has become a firebrand in recent years, most notably for his vocal support of former President Donald Trump. Schilling kicked up controversy in 2016 when he tweeted “Ok, so much awesome here…” with a picture of a man whose t-shirt read “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Schilling later tweeted that he was being “100 percent” sarcastic.
Schilling also appeared to tweet support for the mob that stormed the Capitol building, saying (sic) “You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan’s and big screens, sit back, stfu, and watch folks start a confrontation for [expletive] that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption. #itshappening”
In his letter to the Hall of Fame, Schilling cited the pressure and scrutiny on himself and his family as the main reason for his request. Schilling’s wife is undergoing chemotherapy.
“I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player,” Schilling wrote. “I don’t think I’m a hall of famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor. …
“As I’ve stated often over the past years to those I’ve spoken with in my heart I am at peace. Nothing, zero, none of the claims being made by any of the writers hold merit. In my 22 years playing professional baseball in the most culturally diverse locker rooms in sports I’ve never said or acted in any capacity other than being a good teammate.”
Schilling said he has been “exposed” to racism, sexism and homophobia “as it’s part of who human beings are.”
“Even the thought of responding to claims of ‘nazi’ or ‘racist’ or any other term so watered down and rendered meaningless by spineless cowards who have never met me makes me ill,” Schilling wrote. “In modern times responding to such drivel somehow validates the claim.”
Schilling wrote that he was “mentally done.”
“The game has made it clear it does not want me back and that’s fine, the game owes me exactly nothing,” he wrote. “It gave a billion more times than it took and I’ll forever be deeply in debt to it. My desire to work with and teach young men the art of pitching will be tucked away.”
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