Ever since he announced his retirement last year, there's been an ongoing debate about whether Curt Schilling belongs in the hall of fame. I haven't quite made up my mind on that yet, but I'm leaning toward saying he should get in.
But what I'm absolutely sure of is the cap he should have on his plaque if he does get in. The three teams that have a shot are the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox. So which logo should be on his plaque, the Phils, Snakes, or Sox?
I know most fans think the Red Sox, but to me, they have the worst case of the three. To me, Schilling should choose either the team he was with the longest (Philadelphia) or the team he was at the top of his career with (Arizona). Boston is neither of those.
Some people mentioned the bloody sock game, which was absolutely amazing. However, one game is not what makes you a hall of famer. If that were the case, how come Kirk Gibson isn't in the is hall of fame? Some may also say he won two of his three championships there, but that was because those were the best teams he was on.
Also, the Red Sox tend to receive more hype and attention than the Phillies and especially more than the Diamondbacks.
So should he be a Philly or Diamondback? The team he played the longest with or the team he was the best with? In the end, it should be the Diamondbacks, although the Phillies have a better case than the Red Sox.
Why Arizona? Let’s compare his numbers with these three teams.
Philadelphia 92-00: 101-78, .564 W%, 3.35 ERA, 1.12 whip, 8.4 k/9, 3.74 k/bb
Arizona 00-03: 58-28, .674 W%, 3.14 ERA, 1.036 whip, 10.1 k/9, 7.48 k/bb
Boston 04-08: 53-29, .646 W%, 3.95 ERA, 1.215 whip, 7.7 k/9, 5.31 k/bb
Overall 88-08: 216-146, .597 W%, 3.46 ERA, 1.137 whip, 8.6 k/9, 4.38 k/bb
Schilling was best with Arizona, followed by Philadelphia, then Boston. The numbers don't lie. And although I think wins aren't a good way to measure a pitcher, he had more wins and a higher winning percentage in Arizona despite the fact that his Boston teams were better.
With the Phillies, he had a great 96-97 mph fastball but not the best command. Once he got to Arizona, his fastball was still 96-97 mph, and suddenly his command was great and very precise.
But once he got to Boston, his fastball declined to 92-93 mph. He was the best in Arizona because his pitches had both great velocity and great command.
Now I know all of you are saying that you want to include Schilling in the hall of fame because of his post season play and because he won two of his three championships in Boston, that where he must've been the best in the post season. Well, let's find out.
Philadelphia ‘93: 1-1, .500 W%, 2.59 ERA, 1.085 whip, 8.04 k/9, 2.8 k/bb
Arizona ‘01, ‘02: 4-0, 1.000 W%, 1.14 ERA, 0.705 whip, 10.25 k/9, 9 k/bb
Boston ’04, ’07: 6-1, .857 W%, 3.28 ERA, 1.200 whip, 5.59 k/9, 3.625 k/bb
Overall: 11-2, .846 W%, 2.23 ERA, 0.968 whip, 8.1 k/9, 4.8 k/bb
As you can see, although Boston is the team everyone remembers him for in his postseason play of these three teams, he was still better in Philadelphia and Arizona. Yes, in the both the regular season and now, as you see, the postseason.
One thing to mention is that in the one postseason loss he had in Boston (which, as you see, he didn’t have any in Arizona), he gave up seven earned runs. That’s the same number of earned runs he allowed in the combined seven starts he had in the postseason with Arizona.
So in just one postseason game with the Red Sox, he gave up as many runs as he did in the seven he had with the Diamondbacks. Another thing to point out is that he pitched more innings in the playoffs with Arizona than with Boston (55.1 to 46.2) yet he gave up more than twice as many earned runs in Boston than Arizona (17 to 7).
The last thing to add is that Schilling’s postseason performance in Arizona lowered his postseason ERA from 2.59 (which it was in Philadelphia) to 1.67. But in Boston, his 3.28 postseason ERA there raised his overall playoff ERA to 2.23.
When Schilling was in Boston, he was past his prime. There’s a reason why there were all those injuries. While in Arizona, he was the co-ace with the best pitcher in the game, Randy Johnson. Schilling was the second best pitcher in the game behind his teammate at that time, and for two straight years, each of them won over 20 games.
Also in those two years Johnson finished first in the NL Cy Young voting and Schilling second. And best of all, they were Co-MVP’s when the Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series.
If Schilling’s pitching ability was what it was in Boston during his time in Arizona, then he’d clearly be the No. 2 starter behind Johnson. There’s no way the Boston version of Schilling could’ve been a co-ace with a prime Randy Johnson.
But when he was a Diamondback, he really was that good, to the point where he could be a co-ace with the best pitcher in the game, and would’ve been the ace in any of the other 29 team’s rotations.
In the end, when Schilling was in Boston, which was past his prime, he was not a hall of fame pitcher, period. Arizona was where his career resembled hall of fame pitching. The type of pitching where he struck out many and walked few His numbers tell the story. The team he was the best with was the Diamondbacks. He was also better with the Phillies than the Red Sox. I fail to see how anyone can dispute that.
After writing this article, I’m now convinced that Curt Schilling is a hall of famer. However, the cap on his plaque needs to show the logo of the Arizona Diamondbacks because that was the team he was with when he was a hall of fame type pitcher.
Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback and what team you think he should enter the hall of fame as.