See also Conservative Sports Stars.
|Team - Boston Red Sox|
Birthdate - 11/14/1966
Position - Pitcher
College - Yavapai Community College
Houston Astros 1991
Philadelphia Phillies 1992-2000
Arizona Diamondbacks 2000-2003
Boston Red Sox 2004-2008
W-L - 216-146
ERA - 3.46
SV - 22
Curt Schilling (born November 14, 1966 in Anchorage, Alaska) is a retired American baseball player. A starting pitcher for most of his major league career, he played on three World Series winning teams, the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, the 2004 Boston Red Sox and the 2007 Boston Red Sox. He is known throughout baseball for his quick wit, friendly nature, and conservative ideology. He helped elect Scott Brown in a spectacular upset victory for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010, and Schilling was suspended by ESPN in 2015 for merely tweeting that the percentage of Muslims who are extremists today is comparable to the percentage of Germans who were Nazis in 1940. Schilling later tweeted "I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part."
Schilling was drafted by the Red Sox in the second round of the 1986 draft. On the field, he was known for his tremendous pro potential. He was also known as something of a rebel partly due to his wild hair styles. Said then Red Sox GM Lou Gorman, "He wasn't what I'd call a maverick but he was a little different." In his first professional season with Elmira of the New York/Penn League, Schilling won seven of his fifteen starts with an ERA of 2.59. Schilling spent the 1987 season with Greensboro of the South Atlantic League. He lead the league in both losses(14) as well as strikeouts(169). The following year, he was bumped up to Boston's double A team in New Britain. That season, the Red Sox were making a major push for the playoffs and looked to acquire a veteran starting pitcher. They settled on Baltimore's Mike Boddicker. Boston agreed to surrender outfield prospect Brady Anderson due to their strong depth at the position. The Orioles asked for a second player in the deal, Schilling. Recalled Gorman, "Curt was the guy they asked for. They asked for him specifically." After the way the Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series, Gorman was willing to take the risk of trading away the two players. Schilling was surprised by the trade. Schilling: "We (players) were talking about the pitchers they might trade, and my name never was brought up." He made seven starts with Baltimore's double A team in Charlotte before getting the call to join the big league team. He made his major league debut on September 7, ironically against the Red Sox. Schilling pitched a strong seven innings and giving up three runs but got a non-decision in a game the Orioles ended up winning. He went on to make three more starts with the Orioles that year.
Schilling went on to have moderate success with limited playingtime for the Orioles and Houston Astros over the next three years. A 4-8 record over that time along with a poor work ethic caused some in baseball to question Schilling's status as a top prospect. The Astros decided to cut their losses and Schilling was traded, for the third time in four years, to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jason Grimsley. It was around that time that Schilling had a run-in with Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens at a Houston gym. Clemens chastised Schilling over the latter's wasted talent. Schilling: "I went over there and he proceeded to chew my (behind) off for about an hour and a half. I didn't turn it around that day...but I think it started that day."
Schilling recorded his first full big league season with the Phillies in 1992. He won 14 games, which more than tripled his previous total, and struckout 147 over 226 1/3 innings. He won 16 more in 1993 and played a big role in the team winning the National League pennant. He pitched a complete game shutout in game five of the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays to stretch the series to a game six. The Phillies ultimately lost the series. From 1993-1999, he averaged eleven wins and 188 2/3 innings per year with an ERA of 3.47 despite missing time in 1995 due to a shoulder injury. Despite Schilling's contributions, the Phillies had recorded several mediocre seasons since their 1993 World Series appearance. Schilling openly questioned the dedication the Phillies management had to winning. Phillies GM Ed Wade critiziced Schilling saying, "he tends to say things which are detrimental to the club and clearly self-serving." His comments, along with his pending free agency after the 2000 season, led to him being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a package of prospects.
The Diamondbacks acquired Schilling to pitch alongside Randy Johnson in an attempt to win their second straight NL West crown. Although Schilling pitched well, the team went only 29-32 the rest of the way and finished a distant third. Schilling re-signed with Arizona and in 2001, Schilling and Johnson's first full season together, the team won the World Series by defeating the New York Yankees. The duo was named co-MVP's for their effort.
The Diamondbacks had built their team by giving out contracts with large amounts of deferred money. In late 2003, those deals caught up with them. The team decided to make cutbacks in player payroll to avoid major financial difficulties. While looking for contracts to move, Schillings eight-figure deal was one that quickly came up. Unfortunately, his deal included a full no-trade clause. He indicated that he would only accept a trade to the Phillies or Yankees. He also demanded a contract extension as part of any deal. The Phillies indicated that they weren't interested after the way Schilling left town in 2000. Arizona was unable to work out an agreement with the Yankees. When former Phillies manager Terry Francona became the frontrunner for Boston's managerial opening, Schilling agreed to add the Red Sox to his list of approved teams. The teams quickly agreed to a deal; Schilling to Boston in exchange for pitchers Brandon Lyon and Casey Fossum, along with two others from Boston's farm system.
With the deal agreed to, Major League Baseball granted the Red Sox a 72-hour window to negotiate a contract extension with Schilling. Team executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer flew to Schilling's Arizona home to talk with the pitcher, who acted as his own agent. They alleviated his concerns about pitching at Fenway Park by showing him a statistical analysis that showed that a pitcher like Schilling could be successful at the park. The two executives, along with Larry Lucchino, pitched him on the benefits of playing in Boston. Schilling: "The preparation they did in getting ready was big for me." When discussions went long, Schilling offered to have Hoyer and Epstein spend Thanksgiving with his family. Following Thanksgiving dinner, the two sides continued negotiations. While they were able to agree on the term, two years plus an option, they were still far apart on a salary. During breaks in the talks, Schilling spent time chatting with Red Sox fans on a team internet message board With the 72-hour window nearing a close, they reached a compromise where Schilling would receive a bonus, and have the option year guaranteed, if he took the team to a World Series win.
Schilling won 21 games in his first season in Boston. He finished second in the Cy Young voting behind Minnesota's Johan Santana. The Red Sox won the Wild Card and drew the Angels in the ALDS. Schilling pitched into the seventh in Game one before leaving due to an ankle injury. Boston would win that game and the next two to clinch a sweep and face the Yankees in the ALCS. The injured ankle affected Schilling in Game one of the ALCS as he allowed six runs in only three innings before being pulled. With the Sox winning Games 4 and 5 to cut the series deficit to 3-2, Schilling started Game Six after an experimental surgery performed by team doctor Bill Morgan. He held the Yankees to one run in seven innings as team Boston evened the series at three. During the game, blood became visible through the sock of the injured ankle, which led it to be referred to as the "bloody sock game". The sock would later be put in the Baseball Hall of Fame. They would go on to beat team New York in Game Seven by a 10-3 score to advance to the World Series. He was able to start Game Two of the World Series against the Colorado Rockies, going six shutout innings. The Red Sox would finish off the sweep three days later to clinch their first title since 1918.
- Stark, Jayson. "How the Red Sox lost on Schilling"; Philadelphia Inquirer; July, 1999
- Mnookin, Seth. (2006), Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, Simon & Schuster, Page 241.
- Chass, Murray. "In Arizona, Signed, Sealed and Deferred"; New York Times, 3 March 2001
- Mnookin, Seth. (2006). Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, Simon & Schuster, Pages 242-245