The Baseball Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious clubs in all of sports.
Each year, legends wait to see if they cleared the high bar of making the cut.
And one outspoken conservative has an uphill battle to get into the Hall because of his political views.
Cooperstown, New York is the place where baseball legends—only 259 players—are forever immortalized in the pantheon.
The threshold for admittance is incredibly high.
Most players are voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) in a process where all the writers select up to 10 players to put on their ballots.
If a player appears on 75% of the ballots, he’s eligible for induction.
And the writers are notorious for being snooty; not a single player has received a unanimous vote.
The highest percentage ever attained was 99.32% by Ken Griffey, Jr.
Even Babe Ruth only got 95.13% of the vote.
So former pitcher Curt Schilling will have a tough time getting in.
Not only because the bar for induction is high, but also because Schilling is an outspoken conservative.
In his first chance at induction — living players must be retired for five years — Schilling only received 39.2% of the vote.
In 2016, he crept up to 52.3% but fell to 45% in 2017 after he criticized the mainstream media for its bias and dishonesty.
One BBWAA member even admitted Schilling’s politics impacted his vote.
Barry Bloom of Forbes confessed, “To be sure, because of his politics I’ve had a visceral and adverse reaction to Schilling.”
Bloom also said he isn’t the only voter to feel that way.
He continued, “I’m not alone as voter in that regard. It’s not that he’s a conservative and I’m a liberal. It’s not he’s a Republican, and I’m a Democrat. Schilling is a right-wing reactionary and a demagogue.”
The Baseball Hall of Fame is filled with all kinds of unsavory characters, but their achievements on the diamond spoke for themselves.
But BBWAA seem to be holding Schilling to a different standard.
The same thing happened at ESPN.
Schilling was fired due to backlash from the transgender lobby for posting on his personal Facebook page that a man is a man, and a woman is a woman.
Sadly, that’s a controversial statement in contemporary America.
Schilling was fired from ESPN for his conservative views, but Jemele Hill called Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on her public Twitter account and kept her job.
The anti-Trump climate is pervasive in the world of sports media.
Only 4% of sports writers voted for Donald Trump, which is wildly out of step with the average sports fan.
Their exclusion from the event can’t be overlooked.
They were two of the biggest stars on the team, and Schilling had one of the most iconic performances in baseball history with the “bloody sock” game.
And during a re-airing of a “30 For 30” episode on Boston’s improbable comeback against the rival Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, ESPN somehow omitted Schilling’s signature moment.
ESPN2 is currently showing 4 Days in October. They skipped the game 6 part (Curt Schilling bloody sock). Guess who ESPN recently fired
— Falan Garner (@falandownawell) May 1, 2016
Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame.
He didn’t reach the magical “300 wins” plateau, but he won 216 games, many of them in the juiced-ball era of absurd offensive production.
Schilling is also an advanced stats darling.
Since Major League Baseball lowered the pitching mound in 1968 to improve offensive production, Schilling ranks 1st in strikeout-to-walk ratio, 4th in WHIP, 4th in strikeouts per 9 innings, 9th in strikeouts, and 10th in WAR.
His post-season résumé is also elite.
“Still on the fence about Schilling? Consider that the three-time World Series champion is one of the best postseason performers in baseball history. In 19 career postseason starts, he went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, including a 2.06 ERA over seven Fall Classic outings.”
Schilling was co-MVP of the 2001 World Series and shared the Sports Illustrated “Sportsperson of the Year” award with his co-MVP Randy Johnson.
Coincidentally, Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 97.27% of the vote.
If BBWAA put aside politics, Schilling should join his former teammate in Cooperstown.