New York – Curt Schilling was shut out on Tuesday, falling 16 votes shy of induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The former pitcher received 285 votes and was named on 71.1% of the ballots. He needed 75% to earn induction into Cooperstown. Schilling fell 20 votes shy of induction in 2020, when he received 70% of the vote.
Schilling wasn’t alone, as no players earned induction for first time since 2013 and the ninth time overall.
Not long after Tuesday’s results were revealed, Schilling posted a lengthy letter that he sent to the Hall of Fame on his Facebook page and requested he not be listed on the ballot next year in his final season of eligibility.
“I will not participate in the final year of voting,” Schilling said. “I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. 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.”
Barry Bonds (61.8) and Roger Clemens (61.6) received the second- and third-most votes. Scott Rolen (52.9) and Omar Vizquel (49.1) rounded out the top five. There were 11 newcomers on the 25-player ballot.
There are many who say Schilling has hurt his candidacy with controversial comments over the past few years, often made from his Twitter account, but his credentials merit consideration.
Schilling was a six-time All-Star who was 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, 3,116 strikeouts, 83 complete games and 20 shutouts in 20 seasons. He walked just 711 in 3,261 innings.
He finished as the runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award in 2001 and 2002 and also finished second for the AL Cy Young Award in 2004. Schilling won over 20 games in each of those three seasons, including a career-best 23 for the Diamondbacks in 2002.
Schilling was a big-game pitcher in the postseason, going 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and two shutouts in 19 starts. He was the World Series co-MVP with Randy Johnson in 2001, when the Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees in seven games. He was also part of title teams with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
The candidacies of Bonds and Clemens have been controversial due to suspicions they used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.
Bonds is MLB’s career home run leader with 762 and won a record seven NL MVP awards over his 22 seasons.
Clemens won a record seven Cy Young Awards and went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA, 4,672 strikeouts and 46 shutouts during 24 seasons.
Schilling has sometimes been lumped in with Bonds and Clemens and has made it clear he is not in favor of the association.
“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 in the Facebook post. “I’ve certainly been exposed to racism and sexism and homophobia as it’s part of who human beings are.
“I’ve played with and talked with gay teammates. I’ve played with wife beaters, adulterers, assaulted, drug addicts and alcoholics. I’ve never hit a woman, driven drunk, done drugs, PEDs or otherwise, assaulted anyone or committed any sort of crime.
“But I’m now somehow in a conversation with two men who cheated, and instead of being accountable they chose to destroy others lives to protect their lie.
“I will always have one thing they will forever chase. A legacy. Whatever mine is as a player it will be the truth, and one I earned for better or worse.”
Rolen was a seven-time All-Star over 17 seasons. He batted .281 with 316 homers.
Vizquel was a defensive mastermind who won 11 Gold Glove Awards and had 2,877 career hits over 24 big league seasons.
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