Is Curt Schilling a Hall of Famer?
On ESPN Radio this morning, Erik Kuselias said you can use the Little League test. There are two types of players. Player 1 wants every single ball to be hit right to them. Player 2 wants the ball to be hit anywhere except right to them. Curt Schilling was definitely Player 1.
He was the ultimate big-game, postseason pitcher. He went 11-2 with a 2.33 ERA in the postseason, giving him the highest winning percentage of any pitcher ever with at least six postseason decisions.
Schilling never won a Cy Young award, but did finish second three times (2001, 2002, 2004). Since 1992, only Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens had more strikeouts than Schilling (3,116). His K/BB ratio is the best in the modern era (4.38). Oh yeah, he also won 216 games.
Schilling posted some great numbers throughout his career. He was also a dominating personality. You either loved him or hated him. He was not shy about speaking his mind, whether it be to the media directly or through his blog. He also did more than his fair share of charity work.
So, it he a Hall of Famer? A great pitcher, yes. Hall of Famer, no. I have always felt that if you have to ask the question and think that much about it, the answer is probably no.
If you just look at numbers, it is borderline. He has impressive numbers, but not earth-shattering in two big categories – wins and Cy Young awards. The staple used to be 300 wins, and some will argue that has dropped to 250. Schilling has 216. Yes, he finished second in 3 times in the Cy Young award, but did not win any.
However, I am talking about your gut-feeling, your initial reaction. The Hall of Fame should be considered sacred ground. It is the supposed to be the best of the best. Schilling was the best sometimes, and often one of the best. He was not the best of the best.