Is Curt Schilling bound for the Hall of Fame?

All of the hype surrounding the World Champion Boston Red Sox will come to a hilt tonight as the conquering hero makes his return from the Land of the Bloody Sock.

At approximately 7:07 p.m. with a game time temperature hovering just over a brisk 40 degrees, Curt Schilling and his mended ankle will amble up to the mound on Fenway Park. Schilling, as we all know by now, is the most hyped player on this Red Sox team. While Johnny Damon may be running around with a new wife and a book deal, it’s Schilling whose viewed as the man who brought the Red Sox the championship.

With all of the attention focused on Schilling’s heroics, it’s often hard to cut through the rhetoric. One article, written by The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers, questioned Schilling’s motivation. Rogers doesn’t think Schilling can duplicate his successes from the past five seasons. “Success comes at a higher price as you get older,” Rogers wrote, “and the 38-year-old Schilling spent more than his share of the time mugging for the camera in the off-season. The bet here is the run of greatness he started in 2001 is due to take a downturn.”

On the other side of the coin are those members of Red Sox Nation who think Schilling is the best thing to happen to the Red Sox since the 1918 World Series. With all the hype surrounding Curt Schilling and his accomplishments over the last 12 months, his career perspective is often obscured. This is, after all, a pitcher who didn’t really break out until he turned 30 when he struck out 319 men. And while he’s won 20 games three times, those three times have all been since the turn of the millennium. Is Schilling, famous for his workhorse tendencies and off-the-charts pitching over the last four seasons, bound for enshrinement in Cooperstown?

Predicting a player’s Hall of Fame chances has, like most statistical evaluation in the rich field of baseball analysis, become something of a science. Bill James, one of the giants in the world of baseball statistics, has developed four different metrics for evaluating any player’s shot at the Hall of Fame.

First up is the black-ink test, the least scientific of the bunch. This is a test to see how often a player led the league in important statistics such as wins, ERA, strike outs, fewest walks, and so on. The gray-ink test looks to see how often a player finished in the top ten of the black-ink categories. Then, there is the Hall of Fame Career Standards Test and the Hall of Fame Monitor Test. Suffice it to say, both of these Jamesian creations require a lot of space to explain them. (If you’re interested in the statistics behind these methods, check out Baseball Reference’s detailed descriptions.)

As it stands right now, the Hall of Fame stats say that Curt Schilling is probably in Cooperstown but not definitely yet destined to be there. For the black in test, he scores a 40, where 40 is generally considered to be the bottom line of Hall of Fame measurements. On the gray ink test, he’s at 195, where 185 is the norm for the average Hall of Famer. Schilling, in other words, has been consistently in the top 10 of pitchers in his league. His Hall of Fame Standards test is at 42, where 50 is considered average, and his Hall of Fame Monitor test is at 151, where 100 denotes a likely Hall of Famer.

Outside of these metrics, what do Schilling’s career accomplishments tell us? In 17 years, Schilling has won just 184 games and only one Cy Young Award. While those wins rank him ninth among active players, numerous retired pitchers have won more than Schilling but aren’t in the Hall of Fame. These include Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, two pitchers who probably should be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Currently, Schilling is sitting on 2745 career strike outs. That’s good for fourth among active players and 18th on the career list. Only Frank Tanana, Mickey Lolich, and Bert Blyleven (and his 3701 strike outs) are ahead of Schilling but no in the Hall. Considering that Schilling has at least two years left, he should finish his career with 3000 strike outs. Everyone who has reached that plateau except, inexplicably enough, Blyleven, has made it to the Hall. While the wins are lacking, that seems to be more due to factors outside of Schilling’s control. He’s often pitched well enough to win but has been victimized by bad offensive teams. As much as I would like to, it’s hard to argue with 3000 strike outs.

To seal the deal further, Schilling has turned in some amazing postseason performances, sutured ankle or otherwise. He has a career postseason record of 8-2 and two World Series rings. In 109.1 innings pitched, he’s given up just 79 hits and 22 walks while striking out 104, or just a shade under nine per nine innings. With an ERA of 2.06, he’s pitched four complete games and two shutouts. He won the World Series MVP in 2001 when he pitched Arizona to the championship.

In the end, this Yankee fan is forced to admit that, in spite of personal feelings about Curt Schilling and a few bouts with mediocrity every few years, Number 38 is headed for the Hall when he finally hangs up those blood-stained socks of his. What team his plaque will feature is an entirely different matter.

4 Responses to “Is Curt Schilling bound for the Hall of Fame?”


  1. 1 Ted Chan June 13, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Are you the Ben Kabak that I know?

    In any case, as huge a Curt Schilling fan as I am, I think he’s out despite his pantheon quality post-season performance. The first half of his career just wasn’t good enough. Look at his comparables from Baseball Reference.

    Even Schilling himself said he was out when asked on WEEI 850 on Boston radio the other morning.

    Likely none of the pitchers he is comparable to, be it by age or cumulatively are in the Hall of Fame. I think he has a shot if and only if he has 3 more good seasons (this one included). He has already said he is going to walk away.

    Similar Pitchers View in Pop-up
    David Cone (914)
    Dazzy Vance (906) *
    Dwight Gooden (902)
    Kevin Brown (897)
    Jimmy Key (897)
    John Candelaria (893)
    Lon Warneke (890)
    Mike Cuellar (888)
    Mike Mussina (888)
    Bob Welch (880)
    Similar Pitchers through Age 38
    Kevin Brown (917)
    David Cone (914)
    Orel Hershiser (901)
    John Candelaria (890)
    Lew Burdette (884)
    Charley Root (880)
    John Smoltz (877)
    Dave Stieb (866)
    Tommy Bridges (865)
    Mike Cuellar (864)
    Most Similar by Age
    Ken Wright (981)
    Danny Frisella (984)
    Danny Darwin (973)
    Ken Forsch (984)
    Ron Robinson (972)
    Marty Pattin (972)
    Bill Hands (961)
    Scott Sanderson (958)
    Scott Sanderson (951)
    Scott Sanderson (952)
    Scott Sanderson (938)
    Bret Saberhagen (933)
    Bret Saberhagen (935)
    Kevin Brown (938)
    Kevin Brown (917)

  2. 2 Brian G. January 22, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    I think if Schilling has a quality year (20 wins would seal the deal, 15 would do) and the Sox make the playoffs, Schilling has a good shot at the Hall.

  3. 3 Denver1962 June 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hall of Fame, I am not sure what people are looking at. Half of his career he doesn’t even reach double digit wins, nor is he a work horse, few years with at least 200 innings pitched. if anybody should be int he HOF it should be Jack Morris.

  4. 4 Charle June 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Denver1962…What are you talking about? Not a work horse? Among all other right-handers of Schillings era, he leads them all in complete games. All of them. Maddux, who is 25 behind him, is the closest. Know more facts before you make statements like that.


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • Update: Yankees invite Rusney Castillo for private workout next week July 30, 2014
    Wednesday: The Yankees invited Castillo to their Tampa complex for a private workout next week, reports George King. Andrew Marchand says they should not be considered the favorite to sign him, for what it’s worth. Monday, 1:43pm: The Yankees are one of three teams that have scheduled a private workout with Castillo, according to Ben […]Post from: River Ave. […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Injury Updates: Pineda, Roberts, Johnson July 30, 2014
    Mark Teixeira returned to the starting lineup and hit a homerun last night after being sidelined for eight days with a mild lower lat strain. That was good to see. Here is another round of injury updates, courtesy of Bryan Hoch, Chad Jennings, and George King. Michael Pineda (shoulder) threw a 45-pitch simulated game yesterday […]Post from: River Ave. Blues […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Thoughts prior to the trade deadline and off-day July 30, 2014
    I usually do these thoughts posts first thing in the morning and following an off-day, but I figure with the trade deadline looming tomorrow, I might as well run it now. Tomorrow figures to be pretty busy even if the Yankees do not make a move. There will still be lots of rumors. Here are […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogThoughts prior t […]
    Michael Axisa
  • 2014 Trade Deadline Eve Open Thread July 30, 2014
    The non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET this Thursday, and between now and then there will be a ton of rumors and speculation. Some actual moves too. The Yankees have already swung trades for Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, but Brian Cashman has said he is still seeking another starter and another bat. I don’t […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Ya […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees pick up quick, easy, not at all stressful* 12-11 win over Rangers July 30, 2014
    * lol nope The good news: the Yankees scored a lot of runs and beat the Rangers 12-11 on Tuesday night. The bad news: my cardiologist doesn’t have any open appointments until next week. That was not the easiest win of the season. Let’s put it that way. All With Two Outs, Again For the […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogYankees pick up quic […]
    Michael Axisa
  • DotF: Jagielo homers; Cave, Sanchez stay hot July 30, 2014
    That video above is highlights of tonight’s Double-A Trenton’s game. No footage of RHP Luis Severino, unfortunately. Here are some notes: According to his mother’s Twitter feed (yup), RHP Ty Hensley has been promoted to Short Season Staten Island. We heard he was moving up yesterday, just not to where. There’s about six weeks left […]Post from: River Ave. Bl […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Game 106: Tex Returns July 29, 2014
    For the first time in eight days, Mark Teixeira is in the starting lineup. He had to sit with a mild lower lat strain that robbed the team of its best power hitter and, just as importantly, a real live first baseman. Brian McCann gave it a helluva try over there these last few days, […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogGame 106: Tex Returns […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Surprise! Tanaka sells more tickets than any other starter in MLB July 29, 2014
    From the obvious news department: ticket sales receive the highest bump in games started by Masahiro Tanaka than any other pitcher in baseball, according to Brian Costa. Data released by StubHub says sales on the secondary market increase 73% when Tanaka is on the mound. Justin Verlander (69%) is second and Jeff Samardzija (68%) is […]Post from: River Ave. B […]
    Michael Axisa
  • The incremental upgrade that isn’t a trade July 29, 2014
    The non-waiver trade deadline is roughly 48 hours away, and based on the way he’s been talking the last few days, it seems likely Brian Cashman will swing another trade or two in an attempt to improve the team. Another starting pitcher feels inevitable, and they’ve been connected to a bunch of right-handed hitting outfielders […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Injury Updates: Tanaka, Pineda, Beltran July 29, 2014
    After taking full batting practice on the field before the game, Mark Teixeira came off the bench as a pinch-hitter last night. That’s a pretty good indication he’s over his mild lat strain and will return to the starting lineup tonight. Here are some more injury updates, courtesy of Bryan Hoch, Chad Jennings, and George […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New […]
    Michael Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 60,340 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: