The 2013 Baseball Writers’ Hall of Fame ballot was released
on Wednesday, and among the first-year candidates making their debut, the most
prevalent player to do a stretch with the Phillies would be none other than
Schilling spent parts of 20 seasons in the big leagues, nine
of those with Philadelphia, though he’s more famous now for stints in Arizona
and Boston, stops where he accumulated three rings along the way. A six-time
All Star, Schilling twice led the league in strikeouts and wins, and was named
World Series MVP for the Diamondbacks in ’01. While he never won the Cy Young
Award, he finished as the runner-up three times.
Of course, the Hall is about more than accolades to a
certain extent, but also one’s place in history. Schilling was one of the most
dominant power pitchers in baseball for the better part of a decade. Once he
started coming into his own with the Phils, Schilling became an efficient
workhorse, piling up innings and finishing games. He seldom walked batters, but
fanned many, finishing 15th all-time with 3,116 strikeouts. His K/BB
ratio is second-best in Major League history at 4.38.
Whether Schilling has the raw numbers however will likely be
at the heart of the debate. At 216 wins, he falls far short of the 300 mark,
but the game has changed in many respects, and the days of the 300-game winner
are probably over. However, what’s notable is every pitcher to reach 3,000
strikeouts who has already been eligible for the Hall is enshrined.
Finally, Schilling made his mark in the postseason,
especially later in his career. He posted an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in 19
playoff starts, was the NLCS MVP for the Phillies in ’93, and then there is the
notorious “bloody sock” game for the Red Sox in ’04.
We realize it’s a touchy subject to some. A floundering
Phillies organization traded a then-32-year-old Schilling midway through the
2000 season for Vincente Padilla, Travis Lee, Omar Daal, and Nelson Figueroa –
not exactly some great haul. Plus, the dude is kind of annoying, which is
probably putting it mildly.
Schilling is definitely in the conversation though. Maybe he’s
not a first-ballot guy – after all, there is some stiff competition this year
names like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds on the list – but he has a shot,
especially with some stars blanketed in controversy.
We leave it to you, the reader. Should Schilling get in this
year, eventually, or not at all?