Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One of the best...but is he Hall-Worthy?

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over”
I used to wait with bated breath for Don Meredith to start singing that on “Monday Night Football.” Normally, it was sweet music if the Steelers were playing.
If I could get him to sing it again, I would. This party has officially ended. After being blessed to experience 23 years of playing professional baseball in front of the world’s best fans in so many different places, it is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official.
-Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling announced on his blog at http://38pitches.weei.com/ yesterday that he was officially retiring from baseball, ending a 23 year career.
Whenever a notable professional athlete retires from their respective sport, it's customary for sports journalists to debate whether or not their career was Hall of Fame worthy.
It has been no different for Schilling. Over the last 24 hours, I have read or heard from many different people who all have their own opinions on whether or not Schilling is a Hall of Famer.
Some people have said that he is not a Hall of Famer. "216 wins is not enough to merit a Hall of Fame career", "He was good, but not great", and "I can think of other players who are more deserving" are just some of the reasons given by people who think that Schilling does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
If I had a Hall of Fame vote, I would most definitely vote for Schilling. The reason why I would can be summed up in three words, "He's got guts". Schilling is a guy that can go out and put a team on his back. He will pitch his heart out for you (remember the bloody sock?).
Curt Schilling is a big game pitcher. He wanted the ball in pressure situations.
Schilling's post season record shows just how much of a big game pitcher he was. In 12 post season games, Schilling's record was 10-2 with a 2.23 ERA. He struck out 120 batters in 133.1 innings. Simply put, Schilling was lights out in the post season.
Not only was Schilling gutsy on the mound, he was also gutsy off of it. He's a guy that was never afraid to tell you how he felt. Sometimes I agreed with him, sometimes I didn't. One things for sure though, I always admired him for not being afraid to speak his mind. Some of his more memorable quotes are...
"They've never booed a player who stunk.”
"I guess I hate the Yankees now." — (when he signed with the Red Sox after the 2003 season.)
"I'm not sure I can think of any scenario more enjoyable than making 55,000 people from New York shut up." - (before the start of the 2004 league championship series)
"Jose Canseco admitted he cheated his entire career. Everything he ever did should be wiped clean. I think his MVP should go back and should go to the runner up."
"He admitted he used steroids. There's no gray area. He admitted cheating on his wife, cheating on taxes and cheating on the game." - (Schilling on the Barry Bonds steroid scandal)
Some would call Curt Schilling controversial, others would call him opinionated. Red Sox and Diamondback fans call him a legend. It is my hope that in five years, we all are calling him a Hall of Famer.

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