MDH Off-Topic: Should Curt Schilling Be in the Hall of Fame?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ed. note: Since there is plenty going on in the baseball world outside the purview of the Florida Marlins, we are starting a new series, MDH Off Topic, in which we discuss something non-Marlins-related.

Curt Schilling is calling it a career, as he announced on his blog this week, and discussion of his Hall of Fame credentials has already begun. Dugout Central posted a good thread on the subject yesterday, in which Thomas Wayne weighed Schilling's decent career stats versus his stellar postseason career before opening up the floor for discussion. He asks,

Is Schilling’s post season dominance strong enough to get his really-good-but-not-great career numbers over the Hall of Fame hump?
You can read the discussion here, but I thought I would make a few points on Schilling's chances here. I think Schilling is a borderline candidate, but I expect him to be selected to the Hall, maybe even on the first ballot. We could argue about whether he deserves to be elected, but since I don't have a vote, my opinion on that matter does not mean much. Instead, I would like to take a look at two factors which could weigh on the minds of voters as they pore over their HOF ballot in five years.
  1. Hall of Fame voters have shown that they are not yet prepared to elect any players connected to steroids use. This certainly was the case with Mark McGwire. However, I would not be surprised if, in five years, some of the voters who come out in favor of Schilling cite his role in the steroid scandal as a reason for election (in addition to the stats). Schilling undoubtedly won a decent amount of goodwill from voters by talking to SI on the record for their big steroids expose and appearing in front of Congress to testify about performance-enhancing drugs. Goodwill goes a long way in Hall-of-Fame voting.
  2. Hall-of-Fame voters tend to like waxing poetic about baseball, and Schilling’s contribution to his 2001 and 2004 World Series teams will help get him elected. Between the bloody sock and the slaying of the Yankee dynasty, Schilling's place in postseason lore is secure. Winning championships changes your legacy completely. Just ask John Elway.

I think these two factors help get Schilling elected. I'm still not sure whether I would vote for him, but my vote accounts for nothing.

Photo via Orioles Card "O" the Day


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