clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Assessing Curt Schilling's Hall of Fame candidacy

New, 6 comments

The most accomplished player born in Alaska, does that mean Curt Schilling should also make the Hall of Fame?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Curt Schilling was one of the most accomplished postseason pitchers in history. Is that enough to negate the lack of rate statistics to allow him entry into the Hall?

The case for Schilling as a Hall of Famer

Schilling was a very good pitcher for a very long time. From 1996 until he retired, he had just one season that was below 120 ERA+. He had three 2o win seasons, leading the league twice, he also lead the league in complete games four different times, including an incredible 15 in 1998, at the height of the offensive explosion in MLB.

He finished second in Cy Young voting on three separate occasions (2001, 2002, 2004), and his career WAR of 80.7 for pitchers is 26th in history. His career mark of 4.383 strikeouts per walk issued is second all-time. He also is 21st in history with a 8.6 K/9.

And then there is the postseason success. He was 11-2 in 19 starts with a cumulative ERA of 2.23. He earned three rings and two postseason series MVPs. His postseason WHIP of 0.968 in 133.1 innings is incredible. And if we just look at the World Series, he was 4-1 in seven starts and a 2.06 ERA. His WHIP of 0.896 in 48 innings is excellent. Not to mention the aura of the "bloody sock."

The case against Schilling as a Hall of Famer

The rate statistics for Schilling really are not that noteworthy. He has just 216 wins against 146 losses. Those wins are only 82nd all-time. The FIP of 3.27 is just 227th. And even though he finished second those three times, he never won the Cy and only had one other season where he received any votes (he was 4th in1997).

Like I said earlier, he was a very good pitcher for a long time, but not necessarily an elite one for any significant stretch. He made just six All Star teams (although pitchers career marks are very spotty). He missed parts of five seasons, equating to about 80 starts, which really hurts those career numbers.

My two cents

I personally don't see enough in the career numbers to entice me to vote for Schilling for the Hall. I am probably in the minority here though, as Black ink, Gray Ink and JAWS all have him around the current average Hall of Famers.

This is Schilling's third stint on the Hall of Fame Ballot. He managed 38.8% of the vote in 2013 and that backtracked to 29.2% last year. With the many new faces this year that are all Hall of Fame worthy, I expect his percentage to dip even further down, but he should still get enough to stick around for another shot next year.