BASEBALL HALL OF SHAME               1/28/2020

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Curtis Montague Schilling (born November 14, 1966) is an American former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher and currently a commentator for Blaze TV. He helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993, and won championships in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling retired with a career postseason record of 11–2, and his .846 postseason winning percentages is a major-league record among pitchers with at least ten decisions.[1] He is a member of the 3,000 strikeout club and has the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio of any of its members. He is tied for third for the most 300-strikeout seasons.[2] Of post 19th century pitchers, Schilling has the second highest JAWS of any pitcher not in the Hall of Fame. 

 His personal character and commitment to the sport was demonstrated in the famous World Series that Boston won after being behind 3 games to none.   Schilling undertook a dangerous operation to help his Boston team in its historical come back.  To wit;  A day before Game 6, the Red Sox’s medical team came up with a radical procedure in which team doctor Bill Morgan would suture Schilling’s loose ankle tendon back into the skin. To be sure, Morgan first tried the somewhat barbaric procedure on a cadaver.  “And it wasn’t overblown,” remembers outfielder Gabe Kapler. “When there was all that talk about, ‘Was that really blood?’, not only was it really blood, but what he endured and mentally overcame the way he did may never be done again. I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a procedure like that to get a guy ready to pitch again. It was a little bit, like, science fiction-y.”

As is clear in the above brief history of his baseball accomplishments, both physically and dedication to the sport, there is no reason for his not being part of the players in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame.    A clear explanation was given by a well known and prestigious sport journalist in The Miami Herald, Gregg Cote.   

 Cote explained that his rejection was justified, even if he voted for him, because of his not meeting the standards of the standing “character clause”.    In itself the definition of “character” is ambiguous to say the least, going from moral, personality, disposition, temperament, and even acting as if being another person.    To simplify the use of this noun for the sake of this writing let us choose temperament and morals.    Now back to Mr. Cote’s explanation on liking the Hall’s ruling, albeit conflicted.   

He hates Mr. Schilling as being an “offensive and intolerant man”.    Cote gives examples like, “being a far-right zealot, opposing same sex marriage, writing an anti-transgender post, advocating lynching off journalists” and as the last straw “supporting the riots committing the insurrection” that lead to “former President Donald Trump” being impeached”.    I could take exception of some of Cote’s reasoning as being inaccurate and showing a political bias, even if I am equally offended by some of Mr. Schilling’s opinions.   

Fortunately in this Country everything that “far right” persons and “far left” ones say or write, as offensive that either might be, are rights fully defended by our Constitution’s first amendment.    So in my humble opinion the judgment of “character” by the HAF voters should be limited to the inductee’s actions within the sport, and not expressions of personal and/or political views and slogans that might be false, exaggerated, or not factual, as repeated by zealots of both political parties.

Fernando J. Milanes, MD


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