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Curt Schilling fell short of the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this week, missing the 75% tally he needed by less than 4%. He was so disappointed in the results that he removed himself from the ballot next year, a move that honestly makes sense. The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan offered his support via Twitter:
Hey Curt: What Hall of Famer said 12 Swiss Jewish bankers ruled the world, the last 8 US presidents were “traitors” and AIDS was hatched in a Maryland lab in order to kill gays and blacks and still got 95.82 pct of the vote? A: Steve Carlton. P.S. I voted for him and for you.— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) January 28, 2021
Bob Ryan argues that Curt Schilling is being kept out the Hall of Fame because of things he’s said but that others who have been inducted have not been held to the same standard. Well, if any of that tweet is true, then voters simply moved the goalposts for Curt Schilling.
Others may have made this argument before, but I want to reinforce that Ryan is right on the money here.
Schilling haters may say, “We know better now than we did back then,” but the actual voters are usually their parents’ age. Your parents didn’t know whether Steve Carlton or any former athlete said some things they couldn’t support. Our past generations didn’t give a rip what a player said off the field. They just wanted to remember Steve Carlton, Ty Cobb, and all the other players in the Hall of Fame for their abilities to hit, pitch and run.
Should character really be considered?
The answer is no, and it’s not that complex. Bob Ryan and I recognize that Cooperstown is a baseball museum, not the Roberto Clemente Museum of Pennsylvania. Would we ideally like our Hall of Famers to talk and live like Clemente or Derek Jeter did in their playing days? Absolutely, but that would mean we’d have to disregard a ton of talent along the way.
Curt Schilling currently sits outside the Hall of Fame based on the opinions of those who hardly know him. The baseball writers are now sending him to the principal’s office permanently, but they won’t even take the time to learn who he is.
Ask the players who have defended Schilling countless times. Somehow, their sentiments never align with those of baseball writers. Maybe Curt Schilling is actually a good dude, but he won’t be a Hall of Famer because a couple writers don’t like him. I sometimes would like to say, “Oh well” about the whole situation, but I consider this to be a crucial issue. I want my grandchildren to visit Cooperstown and see Curt Schilling and all the other baseball greats who dare to have a different opinion allowed a place alongside their fellow elites.
Let’s get this right.