Earlier this week, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling missed out on being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the ninth straight year. This time it was by his closest margin ever, falling just 16 votes shy of the 301 needed for election.
Still, he received 71.1% of the possible votes, which means the vast majority of voters believe Schilling should be in the Hall.
Based solely on his statistics, yes, Schilling is a Hall of Famer. Obviously though, if that’s all that mattered, he’d clearly already be in Cooperstown and not going into year No. 10 on the ballot. The thing is, that’s not all that matters.
There are plenty of records on the internet of Schilling’s past controversies. I’m not going to regurgitate them here, but for a quick rundown, click here. Keep in mind — that’s only through 2016, and he hasn’t gotten any better. Essentially, over the past half-decade or so, he has proven himself to be a racist, a transphobe and a bigot.
Even so, a lot of people think it shouldn’t matter. The majority of people think that even with all that Schilling has said, he should be judged only on what he did on the field during his playing career. The Baseball Hall of Fame, however, says differently.
In the election rules clearly posted on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s website, it 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.”
There’s one word in that sentence that 71.1% of writers seem to be ignoring: character.
It’s in the rules. Character is one of the criteria that the writers are supposed to vote on. Call it a technicality if you want to, but it’s enough for me to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Then there’s the argument that there are already people in the Hall of Fame who are racist, and if they can be in the Hall, why can’t Schilling?
That argument just doesn’t make sense to me. The Hall has let racists in before so they should keep doing it? Mistakes were made before, so there’s no use in preventing the same mistakes from being made again?
What message does that send? Not a good one.
Yes, there’s a precedent for letting people with poor character in the Hall, but for some reason, that’s being used as an excuse to let more of them in, not an example of why it needs to change.
If there’s any intention to ever not let racists in the Hall, regardless of their playing ability, you have to start somewhere. Why not start with Schilling?
Still though, if you want to chalk up all of his past indiscretions to just being outspoken about his political beliefs and he shouldn’t be punished for it, as some do, then fine. Apparently, being a racist, transphobic bigot just falls under the umbrella of being a Republican and a Trump supporter.
Personally, I thought his history was already more than enough to disqualify him, but I digress.
That all changed on Jan. 6 when a mob of Trump supporters — sorry, I’ll call them what they are, domestic terrorists — tried to stage a coup.
Naturally, Schilling had to offer his two cents.
“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 shit that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption. #itshappening,”
“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 shit that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption. #itshappening,” Schilling tweeted.
It’s one thing to be an outspoken Republican, it’s another thing to openly support and encourage an insurrection against the United States.
When you side with terrorists, you don’t get a plaque in your honor. I hope in a year’s time, the writers realize that.