29 June, 2008

Hall of Fame Debate: Curt Schilling

Since Curt Schilling's career is nearing an end, it has become popular to debate whether his career is hall worthy. Here are his career numbers:

GS---- W---- L----- W%---- CG--- IP---- K----- ERA--- ERA+---- WHIP
436--- 216--- 146--- .597----- 83--- 3261-- 3116--- 3.46--- 127------- 1.137

In addition, Schilling ranks second all-time in K/BB ratio (Tommy Bond), with a very impressive 4.38 ratio. The most supportive career statistic for Schilling's Hall status is 3,116 career strikeouts, but it is obvious that this alone is not enough, since Burt Blyleven's 3701 career strikeouts have not been enough to put him over the top. The rest of the numbers, while good, are far from enough to make a strong case that Schilling belongs in the Hall.
Of course, with Schilling, career regular season numbers are only part of the story. But can a bloody sock and the reverse of a curse put Schilling in the Hall?
Here's a look at his career post-season numbers:

GS--- W---- L---- W%---- CG---- IP---- K---- ERA
19---- 11---- 2---- .846----- 4 ---- 133.1 -- 120-- 2.23

While these numbers are very impressive, and they include a 1993 NLCS MVP award as well as a 2001 WS MVP award, let's compare them to Jack Morris' career postseason stats:

GS --- W---- L ----W%---- CG---- IP---- K---- ERA
13----- 7----- 4 ----.636----- 5----- 92.1--- 64---- 3.80

Which comes accompanied with a 1991 WS MVP award and perhaps the greatest world series pitching performance in history, a ten inning shutout in Game 7 of this world series.
Morris also posted 254 regular season victories, far above the career total of Schilling. It is very clear that Jack Morris falls short of the requirements for Hall status. Schilling and Morris both make cases for the Hall based upon solid regular season numbers and mythical post season performances, but it is obvious that neither is Hall worthy.
Curt Schilling has had a great career, one worthy of continual reflection and even mythical acclaim; but it is not enough to enter the hallowed walls of Cooperstown.

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