Saturday, June 21, 2008

Schilling and the Hall of Fame

Is Curt Schilling a Hall of Famer? That's the question Nick Cafardo addresses in today's Boston Globe. Schilling, as you may know, is undergoing surgery and is out for the year and may be done for good. He earned his place in Boston lore with his legendary postseason performances in leading the Sox to two World Series titles. The question is, will that be enough to garner him entry into Cooperstown?

Schilling is a classic borderline Hall of Famer. His overall numbers are good but not spectacular. For better or for worse, pitchers are assessed by a statistic that is rarely indicative of the pitcher's performance alone, wins. If Schilling's career is over, he'll finish with 216 wins. Impressive, but far from extraordinary, especially for the rarefied air of the Hall of Fame. Most of his stats fall into that slot. And yet those postseason numbers. 11-2 in 19 starts with a 2.23 ERA and four complete games. A World Series co-MVP with Randy Johnson. And of course the two championships with the Sox, including the iconic bloody sock game against the Yankees.

My heart says yes. My head says let's wait five years and see how we feel then. Either way, though, if this is the end, as a Red Sox fan all I can say is "thanks." Curt Schilling has been the ultimate gamer over the course of his career, and as an elder statesman with the Sox he took young pitchers under his wing. The Cooperstown worries can wait. For now, let's hope Schilling gets a ring and a World series winner's share for 2008.

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