Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Curt Schilling is a Hall of Famer

There. The Fan said it. But it tastes like cough syrup. The Fan has never liked Curt Schilling. His swagger and bravado were somehow galling and a turn off at every level. But, his efforts have always been respected. He was powerful and he was money. He was hated, but he was darned good at what he did.

And it wasn't always that way. He, by his own admission, was a bit lazy and carefree when he first came to the majors. And it showed in his up and down performance. It's been well documented that an encounter with Roger Clemens changed the way he looked at himself and put him on the road to hard work, determination and it all worked towards three World Series Championships.

After nine years in the big leagues, Curt Schilling was 52-52. He had a couple of decent years and a bunch of mediocre ones. In that time period, he was 48-41 as a starter. His walks per nine innings were 2.35 and his strikeouts, 7.34.

After that, he pitched eleven more years. And he was 175-106. His walks per nine innings dropped to 1.69 and his strikeouts per inning to 9.02. During those last eleven years, he won more than 20 games three times. He struck out more than 300 in a season three times and came close a fourth.

He went 11-2 in post season games and his tandem with Randy Johnson in Arizona's championship season has never been duplicated. They singlehandedly won that series and just blew away the Yankees. They were incredible.

So, yes. He was a loud mouth and felt that we should all respect whatever it was that came out of his mouth and his blog. Yes, he dissed the Yankees and showed little respect. But he backed it up and he won the championship just like he said he would.

As difficult as it is to admit...as hard as it is to say, there is a grudging respect for his career and his accomplishments, and yes, for even his black and white stances with which he conducted his baseball career. The Fan hated the guy. But he was a winner and he was great. He is a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I agree, but Blyleven needs to get in first.