Curt Schilling didn’t earn enough votes to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his fifth year on the ballot, but he swears he’s not mad.
The former starter, who played a big role in ending the Boston Red Sox’s 86-year World Series drought in 2004, actually lost votes in 2017, dropping from 52 percent to 45 percent. And while some writers made it clear they were excluding Schilling for his often offensive political and social views, the 50-year-old believes it was him retweeting a photo of a T-shirt advocating for lynching journalists that really cost him.
“We all know why,” Schilling said Thursday on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “Because I’m not quiet. I think if I didn’t talk, I might’ve gotten in this time, but you know me, and you know that’s not who I am. And you also know — I believe it’s politics in one sense, but I also think the retweeting of the T-shirt gave them an out, so to speak. …
“I don’t believe I had a lynching history in my past prior to meeting you. I don’t believe I actually lynched anybody while I was in the big leagues, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never written a paper or advocated for the lynching of human beings ever. I retweeted a picture of a T-shirt that I thought was humorous because I believe, absolutely believe in my heart of hearts, that the mainstream media has killed itself. The mainstream media as we know it is dead. They just don’t know it yet.”
It’s interesting Schilling believes he would have made it this year if not for the “joke,” as players receiving the necessary 75 percent of the vote without having at least 60 percent the year before is extremely rare. The last time it happened was in 1975, when Ralph Kiner just made it at 75.4 percent after receiving 58.9 percent of the vote in 1974.
Schilling admitted to Patrick that he wouldn’t hit retweet on that photo today, but it’s not because he regrets it.
“Let me tell you why I would not,” Schilling said. “I would not because do you know how sick and tired I am of trying to explain to people what I was doing? Unfortunately — and I’m not blaming everybody else, a lot of times I’m on the hook — unfortunately, I have to do that a lot of times because of the things that I do and say because in 140 characters on Twitter — listen, I can’t do anything in life in 140 characters. It’s not humanly possible for me.
“And it’s not generally the best format to communicate. The tone and humor and sarcasm doesn’t generally translate on Twitter as well as it does in real life, and I know that, I acknowledge that. I thought it was funny. I didn’t think it was in any way harmful. Certainly, anybody who knows me knows I would never — I don’t like to see people get hurt. I thought it was a sarcastic thing.”
So will Schilling tone down his talk — which has included comparing Muslims to Nazis and sharing anti-transgender memes — or will he keep going and possibly lose the opportunity to be enshrined in Cooperstown?
“If that sacrifices the Hall of Fame, I don’t want to be in anyway,” Schilling said.
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images