Curt Schilling’s Support of Capitol Riot May Cost Him Cooperstown

Voters are asking to amend their Hall of Fame ballots after voting for the retired ace — with good cause

Curt Schilling's Support of Capitol Riot May Cost Him Cooperstown
Curt Schilling an MLB game at Chase Field in 2018.
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Former star MLB pitcher and failed video game company owner Curt Schilling being into the violence at the Capitol that left five people, including a police officer, dead may end up leaving him off a number of Hall of Fame ballots.

The ex-Philadelphia Phillie, Arizona Diamondback and Boston Red Sox, who lost his job at ESPN after being unable to hold back from tweeting far-right memes with violent and racist overtones after being warned multiple times, tweeted his support for the riot at the Capitol earlier this month.

That tweet, along with some other questionable online activity, has some members of the Baseball Writers Association of America asking to amend their ballots for Cooperstown so they can leave Schilling off, according to Forbes.

A borderline candidate to begin with, Schilling may lose out on the Hall due to the “integrity” and “character” clauses mentioned in the official voting guidelines, which are brief.

“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played,” the guidelines state.

Is that fair? Perhaps not, and it does raise some issues for voters going forward.

ESPN’s Buster Olney appears to think MLB and the Hall should somehow be taking the decision out of the BBWAA’s hands, but it isn’t exactly clear if he is for or against Schilling’s candidacy.

“Journalists should not let themselves be cornered into role of determining what elements of ‘character’ matter in baseball; leave that to MLB, HOF,” he wrote on Twitter. “Imagine Capitol Hill reporters voting to determine ethics violations for senators and members of the House? Since 2005, the BBWAA has been cornered into the position of serving as cover for MLB, HOF in determining character. It’s a really bad place for journalists to be, as human shields for two private companies.”

The 54-year-old is one of 25 former players on this year’s ballot for Cooperstown, and the voting results are scheduled to be announced on January 26. Schilling received 70 percent of the vote last year. Candidates must get 75 percent to make the Hall. If he doesn’t, Schilling will have one more year on the ballot before he is dropped and will need the Veterans Committee to put him in.

A dominant pitcher in the playoffs (11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 career postseason starts), Schilling never won a Cy Young award and his 216 career wins are not even close to 300, a HOF benchmark.

In addition to potentially costing him the Hall of Fame, Schilling — who now tweets under the name “President Elect Curt Schilling” (no hyphen) — apparently lost his insurance coverage over his support of the Capitol rioters.

That final two letters may be exactly what BBWAA members ultimately say to Schilling due to his personal politics and inability to rein himself in on social media.

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