Curt Schilling should get a 10th and final appearance on baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot — whether he likes it or not.
Schilling received 71% of the vote in results released Tuesday evening, falling 16 votes shy of the necessary 75% for induction. Minutes later, he posted to his Facebook page a letter he sent the Hall of Fame requesting he be removed from the ballot in 2022 — his 10th and last year of consideration by the BBWAA.
“The media has created a Curt Schilling that does not and has never existed,” he said, expressing disgust that his borderline Hall case is seemingly in the same category as likely steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who will also appear for the last time in 2022.
Yet BBWAA secretary and treasurer Jack O’Connell said in a statement Wednesday that removing Schilling from the ballot now would violate the bylaws set by the BBWAA and Hall, since Schilling has easily received more than the 5% necessary to remain on the ballot.
“It is the position of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that Mr. Schilling’s request to remove himself from the ballot is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors, who have commissioned the BBWAA to conduct the annual elections,” O’Connell wrote, citing Schilling’s share of the vote.
“The association has abided by the rules for 85 years and will continue to do so. The BBWAA urges the Hall of Fame to reject Mr. Schilling’s request.”
Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement Tuesday to USA TODAY Sports: “As you know, the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame sets the rules and procedures for the BBWAA balloting process. The Board has received Curt Schilling’s request for removal from the 2022 ballot and will consider the request at our next meeting.”
Schilling was a 216-game winner and six-time All-Star whose political and social views have grown increasingly extreme, largely in the social media arena.
He was fired from his job as an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst in 2016 after re-posting a transphobic meme online, has expressed support for the lynching of journalists and, most recently, loudly endorsed the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S, Capitol that left five people dead and more than 500 facing prosecution.
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