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

  • Weekend Open Thread October 21, 2016
    Happy Friday folks, assuming you can read this and aren’t stuck with the massive internet outage sweeping across the country. I haven’t been able to check Twitter for hours. It’s quite liberating, I must say. Anyway, there is no baseball this evening. It’s a travel day for the NLCS. The Dodgers and Cubs will be […] The post Weekend Open Thread appeared first […]
    Mike Axisa
  • RAB Live Chat October 21, 2016
    The post RAB Live Chat appeared first on River Avenue Blues.
    Mike Axisa
  • The Second Half Setup Men [2016 Season Review] October 21, 2016
    The Yankees opened the season with maybe the most dominant bullpen trio in baseball history. For a few months a lead after six innings was close to an automatic win. Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman protected basically every lead they were given. The Yankees weren’t very good overall, but they always had the […] The post The Second Half Se […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Mailbag: Cubs, Torres, Mateo, Miller, Judge, Bird, Tigers October 21, 2016
    I’ve got 14 questions in the mailbag this week. RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is the place to send us questions at any time. Michael asks: The Cubs right now have a surplus of position players, and it seems either Jorge Soler or Ben Zobrist will be the odd man out. Do you think the […] The post Mailbag: Cubs, Torres, Mateo, Miller, Judge, Bird, Tigers appe […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Thursday Night Open Thread October 20, 2016
    The Cleveland Andrew Millers are going to the World Series! Cleveland beat the Blue Jays in Game Five of the ALCS yesterday to win the pennant. They await the winner of the Dodgers-Cubs series. Those two clubs will play Game Five of the NLCS tonight (8pm ET on FOX Sports 1). Kenta Maeda and Jon […] The post Thursday Night Open Thread appeared first on River […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Thursday Notes: Beltran, Blue Jays, IFAs, Qualifying Offer October 20, 2016
    There are, at most, ten more baseball games left this season. It could be as few as six. That stinks. The offseason is fun in it’s own way, but nothing is better than actual games. That’s why we all watch. Anyway, make sure you check out MLBTR’s Offseason Outlook: New York Yankees post. Nice little […] The post Thursday Notes: Beltran, Blue Jays, IFAs, Quali […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The Very Talented and Very Frustrating Michael Pineda [2016 Season Review] October 20, 2016
    It’s hard to believe Michael Pineda just completed his fifth season with the Yankees. It still feels like he just got here. Of course, Pineda didn’t actually pitch in two of those five seasons because of his shoulder surgery, but still. The trade was five years ago. Man, time flies. That was such a wild […] The post The Very Talented and Very Frustrating Mic […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The Yankees’ Five Shortest Home Run of 2016 October 20, 2016
    Yesterday we looked at the longest home runs hit by the Yankees hit in 2016, and now it’s time to go to the other extreme. Now we’re going to look back at the shortest home runs. The most laughable wall-scrapers of the season. These are the homers that make you feel like the Yankees just […] The post The Yankees’ Five Shortest Home Run of 2016 appeared first […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Wednesday Open Thread October 19, 2016
    Another day with two baseball games, hence the early open thread. Hooray for that. This might be the last two-game day of the season. The only other possibility is Saturday, and that requires a Game Six in the NLCS and a Game Seven in the ALCS. Here is today’s schedule: ALCS Game Five: Indians at […] The post Wednesday Open Thread appeared first on River Ave […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The Reinvention of CC Sabathia [2016 Season Review] October 19, 2016
    The end of CC Sabathia‘s contract has not been pretty and I’m not sure any of us are surprised. The Yankees went into the contract — and the contract extension following 2011, at that — knowing they were paying for the great years up front and would have to live with the ugly years at […] The post The Reinvention of CC Sabathia [2016 Season Review] appeared […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 61,973 hits

%d bloggers like this: