Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling missed out on induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the ninth straight year on Tuesday, and says he "will not participate" in the 10th and final opportunity for the honor.
The legendary player, who is an outspoken conservative and Trump supporter, has fallen under scrutiny on both social media and in the media for political takes.
What are the details?
The Washington Times reported that while Schilling received "the most votes of any player, appearing on 71.1% of the ballots from the Baseball Writers Association of America," he "fell short of the 75% threshold for induction."
Following the tallies, Schilling tweeted out, "Former players will be the ultimate judge, as it should be. I won't allow a group of morally bankrupt frauds another year to lie about my life."
He posted a link to a Facebook post that shared a lengthy letter he had written to the Hall of Fame the day before.
In his letter, he expressed his gratitude to the panel before telling them, "I can say at this point I am mentally done. I know math and I know trends and I know I will not attain the 75% threshold for induction."
He went on to address the controversies sparked over his expressed views, saying:
My love of this country has always been worn on my sleeve. My desire to do the right thing and be a good person has driven most of my life choices. I stood at my locker 400+ times after my starts and took every question and answered honestly. Those people who stood there asking the questions KNOW what they are claiming is untrue yet they quote, re-quote and link to one another story after story that began as lies and grew into bigger ones. The game has made it clear it does not want me back and that's fine, the game owes me exactly nothing. It gave a billion more times than it took and I'll forever be deeply in debt to it. My desire to work with and teach young men the art of pitching will be tucked away.
Schilling also discussed the pain that "hit pieces" written about him have caused his children and his wife, who is currently battling breast cancer.
"I am requesting to be removed from the ballot," he said. "I'll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player."
The Times noted that Schilling was "referring to the Veterans Committee, which considers the candidacy of players not elected by the writers."
The legendary pitcher has become a controversial figure, a factor that several analysts suggested made a difference in the Hall of Fame voters' decision.
ESPN's David Schoenfield responded to the news by saying that Schilling "was clearly the best pitching candidate aside from Roger Clemens — this should have been his year, especially after getting 70% last year. But some voters stopped voting for him due to offensive comments he made on Twitter, and it's not a lock he gets in next year, his final one on the BBWAA ballot."
Bradford Doolittle agreed, saying of Schilling, "Once you reach 70%, as he did last year, that's supposed to be the tipping point. But if the ballots had not been due until after Jan. 6, his total would have been even lower. That doesn't bode well for his last year on the ballot next winter."
On Jan. 6, following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, Schilling tweeted, "You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan's and big screens, sit back, stfu, and watch folks start a confrontation for shit that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption."
Schilling's outspokenness, particularly with regard to his conservative politics, has led to numerous controversies over the years. TheBlaze previously reported:
- His June 2016 blog post in the wake of the terror attack at an Orlando gay nightclub lit into gun control advocates and Muslims.
- ESPN fired him in April 2016 for a meme he posted that mocked transgender bathroom laws.
- And the sports network pulled him off the air in September 2015 for the rest of the baseball season over a tweet against radical Islam.
During his 20-year MLB career, with several teams, Schilling won 216 games with a 3.46 career ERA and struck out more than 3,000 batters. He led two teams to World Series titles — the 2004 Boston Red Sox team and the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks. He compiled an 11-2 record in the post-season, including a 4-1 mark and 2.06 ERA in the World Series.