Depending on your personal stance, everyone has a different perspective on Curt Schilling and his Hall of Fame credentials. Those who prefer to ‘stick to sports’ will remember him as a dominant pitcher and three-time World Series winner. Those assessing the former star on his entire body of work, however, argue that his off-field behavior should render him a persona non grata in the world of baseball.
Even during his playing days, though, Curt Schilling still found himself in trouble on occasion. In 2003, for example, the pitcher earned himself a $15,000 fine for smashing a Questec camera.
Curt Schilling’s MLB career
Speaking purely in terms of his baseball career, Curt Schilling is probably most remembered for his ‘bloody sock’ performance with the Boston Red Sox. The pitcher, however, was more than a one-game wonder.
Schilling’s career actually began with the Red Sox organization, who drafted him in 1986. He didn’t make it anywhere near the big club, however, and was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. After a handful of appearances scattered over a few years, the pitcher was on the move again; he spent a year with the Houston Astros before joining the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the City of Brotherly Love, Schilling emerged as a star. He was unhappy with the team’s lack of success, though, and eventually requested a trade. The righty headed west and joined the Arizona Diamondbacks, forming a deadly one-two punch with Randy Johnson; Schilling ended up winning the World Series during his first full season in the desert.
Schilling then joined the Red Sox in 2004 and promptly helped them break the Curse of the Bambino. He won another World Series title with the team in 2007; due to his combination of arm issues, he would miss the following campaign and never pitched again.
In total, Schilling spent 20 seasons in Major League Baseball. He piled up 216 wins and 3,116 strikeouts over the years, claiming three World Series crowns along the way.
A reputation as a controversial character
Curt Schilling’s baseball accomplishments aren’t the end of his story, though. Over the years, the pitcher has also found himself embroiled in plenty of controversies, which, more recently have affected his hopes of making it to Cooperstown.
Schilling’s most notable failing came in the business space, where his video game company, 38 Studios, went bankrupt. To make matters worse, the studio had previously received a loan from the state of Rhode Island to bring jobs to the area; not only did those jobs cease to exist, but the company’s sudden demise understandably left the employees in a bad spot.
The former pitcher has also gotten into trouble for sharing his political views. In the past, he has shared memes on social media comparing Muslims to Nazis and mocking the transgender community; the latter of those prompted ESPN to remove him from their coverage. Schilling has also voiced his support for Donald Trump in the past.
Curt Schilling was once fined $15,000 for smashing a Questec camera
Curt Schilling’s controversial behavior didn’t begin in retirement, though. Long before his Baseball Hall of Fame eligibility ever began, the pitcher clashed with teammates, reporters, and, in 2003, even a camera.
As documented by an AP report that ran on ESPN, Schilling was fined $15,000 for “destroying a camera used to evaluate umpires.” According to Bob Watson, MLB’s vice president of on-field operations, that number included both the cost of the camera and a disciplinary component. The pitcher also planned to appeal his punishment.
“The process doesn’t work,” Schilling explained at the time. “Questec itself, the actual machines, I’m sure they work. But machines don’t call the balls and strikes. The umpires do. The process by which this was integrated into Major League Baseball is horribly flawed.”
In fairness to Schilling, his stance wasn’t completely out of left field. The AP report included quotes from some Atlanta Braves pitchers expressing a similar distaste with Questec’s system. One, Ray King, even said that he would have broken the camera if he had the chance.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference