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

  • Game 148: Split September 14, 2014
    The Yankees managed to beat the Orioles yesterday afternoon, which is notable because they’ve beaten the O’s only four times in 14 tries this season. They had lost five straight to Baltimore before yesterday’s win. Winning tonight’s game would give the Yankees the series split, meaning they will have not lost a series to the […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Weekend Mailbag: All about the shortstops September 14, 2014
    Just had a huge and delicious Sunday breakfast. Now have a cup of coffee and nothing particular on the agenda, so let’s get to answering some questions Mike didn’t get to in this week’s official mailbag. Plenty of people wrote in with shortstop-themed questions, and Mike covered ones relating to Asdrubal Cabrera, trades, and Korean […]Post from: River Ave. B […]
    Joe Pawlikowski
  • Minor League Notes: Newman, AzFL, Higashioka September 14, 2014
    Your browser does not support iframes. A few days ago we learned the Pulaski Yankees of the rookie Appalachian League will be joining the organization as the Yankees’ eighth domestic minor league affiliate starting next season. The club will serve as a stepping stone between the two rookie Gulf Coast League affiliates and Short Season […]Post from: River Ave […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Saturday Night Open Thread September 13, 2014
    Sad news to pass along from the extended Yankees family: Joe Torre’s older brother Frank passed away today. He was 82. You might remember when he needed a heart transplant in the middle of the 1996 World Series, which was quite the ordeal for the Torre family. You might not know that Frank also played […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogSat […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Greene, bullpen hold on for 3-2 win over Orioles September 13, 2014
    Source: FanGraphs Sometimes three runs is enough. The Yankees jumped out to an early lead then held on for dear life on Saturday afternoon, beating the Orioles by the score of 3-2. Let’s recap their first win of the series: Three-Run Third: The Yankees had four hits all game and three came in the span […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogGre […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Rosenthal: Eppler will not interview for D’Backs GM position September 13, 2014
    Via Ken Rosenthal: Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler will not interview for the vacant Diamondbacks GM position. Arizona confirmed he was on their list of candidates soon after firing GM Kevin Towers last week. Eppler interviewed for the Padres GM job earlier this summer and was reportedly the runner-up to the since-hired A.J. Preller. He […]Post from: River […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Game 147: Pick Up The Pace September 13, 2014
    Following yesterday’s doubleheader sweep (the bad kind), the Yankees are 75-71 and have scored 572 runs (3.92 per game) this season. They were 78-68 with 606 runs scored (4.15 per game) last season through 146 games. The Yankees need to go 10-6 and score 78 runs (4.88 per game) the rest of the way to […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogGame […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Beltran resumes taking swings, will not have surgery until after season September 13, 2014
    For the first time since being scratched from Wednesday’s game with soreness in his elbow, Carlos Beltran was able to take swings yesterday, according to Chad Jennings. He took 20 light swings against soft toss pitches. Beltran told David Waldstein he feels a little bit better and will not have the bone spur surgically removed […]Post from: River Ave. Blues […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees blanked again, drop second game of doubleheader 5-0 to Orioles September 13, 2014
    Source: FanGraphs One run in 20 innings. The Yankees played 20 innings in hitter friendly Camden Yards on Friday, and they scored just one run. That was a solo homer by Chris Young in the first game of the doubleheader. Pretty gross. The Yankees dropped the nightcap by the score of 5-0. Let’s recap the […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogYa […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Updates: Tests come back clean after Headley takes pitch to chin September 12, 2014
    7:31pm: Headley visited a neurologist and all tests came back clean. He escaped the beaning with just a cut on his chin. Headley has rejoined the team — the YES cameras showed him in the dugout during tonight’s game — but he is still a few days from returning to the lineup. 11:42am: Tests showed […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogUpdates: […]
    Michael Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 60,411 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: