by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2019
The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame announced four new members on Jan. 22.
Mariano Rivera (100 percent of the vote), Edgar Martinez (85.4 percent), Roy Halladay (85.4 percent) and Mike Mussina (76.7 percent) all passed the 75 percent threshold needed in balloting from the baseball writers to be voted in.
Curt Schilling was the fifth-leading vote-getter, but fell short of the threshold at 60.9 percent.
Schilling, who baseball analysts say has comparable or better lifetime stats to many pitchers in the Hall of Fame, believes his outspoken conservative political views and support for President Donald Trump are at least partly responsible for his not being enshrined in Cooperstown.
Schilling was asked by Fox News host Mark Levin on Jan. 20: “You think it’s political?”
“Part of it is,” Schilling replied. “I mean, it’s not a guess. People that have not voted for me specifically because of the things I’ve said or did, they’ve said it. They’ve come out and said, ‘I can’t vote for him because of what he said and what he did.’ ”
Schilling, who played for 20 years, including stints with the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox, is an avid supporter of Trump. He blamed his ties to the president for not having been inducted in 2017. He also criticized fans who he said rejected him based on his support for the president, saying he’d be a lock for Cooperstown if he had opposed Trump.
The three-time World Series champion and one-time World Series MVP also said his name is being thrown into the same group as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — players who are obviously deserving of being in the Hall of Fame based on numbers but were linked to performance enhancing drugs.
“They are equating me and something they think I’ve done or said with guys who willingly [cheated],” Schilling said.
Trump tweeted on Jan. 20: “Curt Schilling deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Great record, especially when under pressure and when it mattered most. Do what everyone in Baseball knows is right! @marklevinshow”
Schilling responded: “Thank you Mr President! Do NOT give in on any of it! We are behind you!”