Curt Schilling Gets More Hall of Fame Votes Than Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens

The Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee put Fred McGriff in Cooperstown on Sunday

Ex-MLB player Curt Schilling speaks with the media before a NASCAR race.
Ex-MLB player Curt Schilling still has a shot at Cooperstown.
Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty

Following a meeting of the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee held Sunday at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego, former first baseman Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff is headed to Cooperstown.

McGriff, who did not get voted into the Hall by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) in 10 appearances on the ballot, was the committee’s lone Hall of Fame selection among the eight candidates who were considered during Sunday’s vote and received unanimous support from all 16 committee members for induction. The five-time All-Star, who hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams, received 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019.

“I finally did it. I got in there,” McGriff said during a video conference. “I’ve been totally blessed my whole life and I continue to be blessed. It’s quite an honor to be elected into the Hall of Fame. I want to thank the committee. I know it’s tough deciding who to vote for.”

After McGriff, Don Mattingly received eight votes, Curt Schilling got seven and Dale Murphy got six. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro each received fewer than four votes so no total was specified for any of the four. To qualify via a vote by the Contemporary Era committee, which considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on, a player needs to be on 75% of the ballots.

Those votes are all interesting, but what really stands out is that Schilling received more votes than Bonds or Clemens as all three players were snubbed in their final year of BBWAA eligibility and were denied entry to Cooperstown while the door was thrown open for David Ortiz in January in his first appearance on the ballot.

A borderline Cooperstown candidate who fell 16 votes shy of the Hall in 2021, Schilling went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons and won the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in ’04 and ’07. Besides his so-so stats, Schilling’s hateful remarks about Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others really hurt his candidacy.

Bonds and Clemens, of course, have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, but both were far superior players than Schilling and 100% deserve to be in the Hall of Fame before the right-hander, which is what makes the support for Schilling from the Contemporary Era committee somewhat confusing. Schilling still fell short of induction with his seven votes, but if he somehow gets voted in before Bonds and Clemens, then the Contemporary Era committee should be disbanded immediately. A Hall with Schilling and without Bonds and Clemens is no Hall at all.

Along with anybody who was voted in on the latest BBWAA ballot, the results of which will be announced on January 24, McGriff will be inducted into Cooperstown at a ceremony on July 23.

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