Is former Major League pitcher Curt Schilling too conservative to be allowed into baseball’s Hall of Fame? As outrageous as it sounds, this seems to be one of the criteria that was considered by many Hall voters.
To give some perspective on Schilling’s Hall of Fame credentials, Schilling finished his career with more than 3,000 strikeouts and 216 career wins. On top of this, Schilling was a post-season stud, winning the MVP of the 2001 World Series when the Arizona Diamondbacks upset the New York Yankees and five years later becoming a permanent part of baseball yore after the bloody sock game and the integral part he played in ending the Red Sox’s 86-year World Series drought. Baseball-Reference does a terrific job of crunching numbers of players and stacking them up against players who had similar careers. According to B-R, one of the pitchers Schilling is comparable to is John Smoltz, who sailed into the Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible. So why is Schilling, now going into year five of eligibility, more than likely not only not going to be elected to the Hall of Fame but will go backward in his vote total?
A quick Google search will give you a clue on what some of the voters’ issues are with Schilling and is best summed up by reading Henry Druschel of Beyond the Box Score, who strongly implies that Schilling is racist and transphobic. The so-called racism Drushel is referring to is when Schilling compared Muslim extremists with Nazis. As for his transphobia charge, this is because Schilling supported the North Carolina restroom bill that, at the time, dictated men use men’s rooms in public facilities and women use women’s rooms. If this makes one racist and transphobic, then you can include a majority of Americans in this category, as well.
Druschel isn’t a Hall of Fame voter, but of those who are and oppose Schilling’s politics, they are a bit more circumspect in their rationale such as Dejohn Kovacevic, who says that the ace’s behavior, “especially in recent years, represents the antithesis of the character clause that the Hall and BBWAA continue to instruct voters to honor.”
It is true that Schilling is impulsive and sometimes his tweets are over the top, as when he retweeted, “Tree, rope and Journalists” this fall. Schilling has said this was a joke and he was being sarcastic, but many Hall voters such as Dan Shaughnessy and Kirby Arnold have cited this tweet as a rationale for not voting for Schilling this year.
Even long before Schilling’s journalist tweet, however, many of the voters had expressed concern about Schilling’s post-playing day behavior. His behavior essentially is that Schilling is an outspoken conservative who doesn’t worry much about political correctness. If you’re a liberal celebrity, you can pretty much say anything and the press will call you an activist and laud your great intentions no matter what stupidity comes from your mouth. If you’re a conservative, you damn well better keep your personal opinions to yourself unless you want trouble.
Being conservative and public about it puts a target on one’s back. It has gotten so bad recently, even being associated with a conservative gets you in trouble. Don’t believe it? Just look at the controversy over entertainers at Trump’s inauguration. Even being rumored to perform at such a historic event can get you blackballed from working in the entertainment field. And don’t you dare design Melania’s dress either.
Baseball’s Hall of Fame is not the personal property of the political elite nor a shrine to liberalism, and there shouldn’t be a political correctness litmus test to get in. If, as expected, Schilling’s vote total drops when the tallies are announced on January 18, we as conservatives should be forceful in communicating our disappointment to the Hall of Fame and express how we believe some voters are voting based on their personal political prejudices and that this is unacceptable. There has been talk in recent years from many quarters about diversifying the voters away from just the Baseball Writers Association of America, and if it becomes obvious that there is an anti-conservative bias for Hall entry, we should also join the chorus of those asking for change. Conservatives have every right to be allowed in the public square like anyone else.
As for Schilling, he is taking the Hall of Fame snub fine saying, “I sleep fine. My three World Series rings, trophies and 20-some years of amazing memories are all mine, and always will be.”
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