After watching Curt Schilling’s near no-hitter last week against the Oakland A’s, I began to consider whether I had just seen a future Hall of Fame pitcher blow yet another chance at his first no-no. Schilling finished the game with his third career 1-hitter and his 213th career win. There have been plenty of discussions about what what makes a Hall of Famer, whether it is individual awards (Schilling has none), statistical accomplishments (some) or World Series rings (two).
Since there are no individual awards to consider (he finished second in Cy Young voting 3 times), let’s review some statistical accomplishments:
3 20-win seasons
2001: 22-6, 2.98 ERA, 293 strikeouts (finished behind teammate Randy Johnson in the Cy Young voting. Johnson went 21-6, with a 2.39 ERA and 372 strikeouts)
2002: 23-7, 3.23 ERA, 316 strikeouts (finished behind Randy Johnson in the Cy Young voting again. Johnson went 24-5, with a 2.32 ERA and 334 strikeouts)
2004: 21-6, 3.26 ERA, 203 strikeouts (finished behind Johan Santana in the Cy Young voting. Santana went 20-6, with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts)
213 career victories
Within his 21-year career, Schilling has only 9 seasons with double-digit wins (this year looks to be 10). He currently is 8th among active pitchers in wins, directly behind Mike Mussina (241), David Wells (233) and Jamie Moyer (221).
83 career complete games (including 10 in 1992 and 15 in 1998)
This is 4th for active players, behind Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson, and 11 ahead of Kevin Brown.
3,081 career strikeouts
4th most for active players and currently 14th overall. Additionally, he is 7th among active pitchers in strikeouts/9 innings pitched. However, I will argue this is an overrated statistic, as the 2 pitchers in front of Schilling are Arthur Rhodes and Hideo Nomo.
3.44 career ERA
Currently this leaves Schilling 10th among active players, but no where near the top in career numbers.
In the end, Schilling has never been the best pitcher in baseball in a single season; in his two best seasons (2001 and 2002), he wasn’t even the best pitcher on his team. Unfortunately, he has been such a loud-mouth the last couple years of his career, I think he will end up getting enough votes for the Hall. Certainly not a first ballot Hall of Famer, but depending on who else retires around him, he may find a way to sneak in. I just hope that if that is the case, Mike Mussina makes it as well (Mussina currently has 28 more career wins, 3 more shutouts, 6 more seasons with double-digit wins and 6 Gold Gloves).
Please click here for a competing view, including thoughts on other potential Hall of Famers.