Though Curt Schilling is identified mostly with the Boston Red Sox, the team with which he won two World Series, he spent the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Which leads to this question: Will Schilling be assigned a Red Sox cap or a Phillies cap (or maybe even an Arizona Diamondbacks cap) when hes inducted into the Hall of Fame? (Yes, we said when.) The decision is the Halls to make and its based on which team the player left the most indelible mark.
It would be difficult to argue that Schillings biggest impact did not come with the Red Sox. He was traded from Arizona to Boston before the 2004 season, quickly announced that he hated the New York Yankees, then proceeded to shoot them down, basically on one leg (see: bloody sock) in a historic ALCS before helping the Red Sox sweep the St. Louis Cardinals for the franchises first World Series title in 86 years.
Any look at Schillings candidacy has to go heavy on his postseason work.
He won World Series in 2001, 2004 and 2007.
He was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and a .968 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) in 19 postseason starts.
He was 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in five elimination starts. (His team won all five.)
He was the MVP of the 1993 NLCS with the Phillies.
He was the co-MVP of the 2001 World Series with the Diamondbacks.
Why did we look at Schillings postseason resume first? Because its what puts his candidacy over the top.
He has tremendous regular-season credentials, but some might argue that his period of dominance didnt last long enough and that his 216 wins arent quite enough.
Schilling, who had a 3.46 ERA over 20 seasons, had three 20-win seasons, made six All-Star teams and finished second in the Cy Young voting three times.
He finished in the top 10 in league ERA nine times, including second twice.
His WHIP was among the 10 best in the league 11 times. Nine of those times, he finished in the top five and he had the best mark in that category twice.
He had three 300-strikeout seasons, two with the Phillies. Only Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson (six apiece) have more 300-K seasons.
Schilling ranks 15th all-time with 3,116 strikeouts.
His 4.383 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the second-best all-time, trailing only Tommy Bond, who pitched his last game in 1884.
He is one of four pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts and less than 1,000 walks. The others: Greg Maddux, Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez. Pretty good company.
Curt Schilling is not a slam dunk for winning a spot in Cooperstown in this his first year on the ballot, but we believe hell get there eventually. He is worthy of election.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at email@example.com