• 06/21/2008, 10:26AM ET

If Schilling retires today - over/under 7.5 years on the HOF ballot before making it (if he does)

rstowe-GONE (323-73-17) vs Lifer: Metallica Sucks! (333-129-25)

If Schilling were to retire today, I believe it will take him over 7.5 years of being on the ballot to make the HOF (if he does, but that is another TD).

Right now he has less wins than Joe Niekro. The only thing Schilling has going for him is his record of 11-2 in October. If someone like Bert Blyleven has taken over 7 years to get in, so will Schilling.

Schilling will cause a lot of discussion among the HOF voters - especially the age old argument of "If we let him in with less than 240 career wins, who else do we have to discuss of letting in"...this will cause his time on the ballot to keep going up. Postseason success does help you get into the HOF (Don Drysdale is a perfect example) but not having the milestone numbers for the regular season makes voting for you by the HOF voters even harder.

I predict (if he ever does get in) it will be over 7.5 years on the ballot (I'm guessing it will be around 13 or 14 years on the ballot).

Only take this TD if you believe Schilling will get in the HOF after being on the ballot for less than 7.5 years.

By saying he will make it within 7.5 years on the ballot, that means that he would have to make it within 12.5 or whatever years from now, right (assuming he retires now)?

Gotta say yes. I never liked the guy, but his dominance was undeniable. He was THE best postseason pitcher of our era, and is also one of the best of all time.

In the entire postseason, Schilling is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, over 133.1 IP. Those numbers aren't just good, they're amazing.

But in the World Series? Even better. 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA over 48 IP. He has also won a WS MVP as well.

And his regular season numbers aren't too shabby either. 216-146, 3.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3116 K...

He is 14th all time on the Strikeout list (13th in K/9 IP), and 2nd all time in Walk-to-Strikeout ratio.

Although he has never won a Cy Young, he has come in 2nd place on three occasions, and only once in his entire career has he finished with an ERA above 4.00 (pitching at least 100 innings).

There have been plenty of starting pitchers in the modern era in the HOF with less than 240 wins. Sandy Koufax, Jim Bunning, DON DRYSDALE, Lefty Gomez, Whitey Ford, Bob Lemon, Hal Newhouser, Catfish Hunter...240 wins is not a HOF threshold.

Let's take a look at the guys you mentioned and how long it took them to get into the HOF and some key stats for each:

Koufax - 1st ballot, 4 no hitters, 1 perfect game, 5 straight 25 win seasons, 5 straight ERA titles, 0.95 ERA in 4 world series, .655 winning %
Bunning - veteran's commitee (over 15 years), 1st to record 100 wins and 1000 Ks in both leagues
Drysdale - 10th ballot, 25 game winner, 1 CY Young, a record (at the time) 58 consecutive scoreless innings
Gomez - veteran's committee, 4 time 20 game winner, 2 time pitching triple crown winner
Ford - 2nd ballot, 1 Cy Young, best winning % of ANY 20th Century pitcher
Lemon - 13th ballot, .618 winning %, lost time to WWII (hence the low win totals)
Newhouser - veteran's commitee (over 15 years) , back to back MVP, 3 straight seasons with ERA under 2.22 (2.22, 1.81 and 1.94) and wins of 29, 25 and 26 in those 3 seasons
Hunter - 3rd ballot, 1 Cy Young won 21 or more games 5 seasons in a row.

The average length of time for those 8 guys took to get in was 9.25 my opinon Schillling fits in nicely with this group (based on stats and accomplishments, so over 7.5 years to get in isn't a stretch.

out of room

One flaw there, rstowe...These guys all had plenty of competition. Curt Schilling, thanks be to steroids, has a much thinner pool of talent to compete against. Let's take a look, shall we?

Mark McGwire (been eligible for 2 years already)
Barry Bonds
Sammy Sosa
Rafael Palmeiro
Gary Sheffield
Jason Giambi
Andy Pettitte
Miguel Tejada
Roger Clemens (perhaps)

When you consider that it certainly looks like McGwire won't be getting into the Hall (at least, not for a long time), you have to assume most of these guys will get the same. I could see a few getting off (perhaps Andy Pettitte), but it wouldn't surprise me if none of the top 4 make it in, when they otherwise would be first ballot guys.

Let's compare some stats of Schilling to others, shall we? In parentheses is the number of years on the ballot.

Catfish Hunter (3) - They have similar records, and while Hunter has a slightly better ERA, Schilling has a far better ERA+ and they have almost the same WHIP. Schilling also has a far better BB-K ratio, and was a better K guy.

Ted Lyons (4) - Schilling has a better record, ERA, ERA+, WHIP, BB-K ratio, more K...edge to Curt here.

Robin Roberts (5) - Better at all the above stats.

Let's compare Schilling to someone who has been on the ballot for 11 years: Bert Blyleven

Bert 280 wins, Curt 216...Ks - Bert 3701, Curt 3116 (Curt has 2 less seasons), Bert's career ERA 3.31, Curt's 3.46, Bert has 60 Shutouts, Curt 20...Bert's WHIP is 1.198, Curt's 1.137....

So as you can see there is someone right now on the ballot for the last 11 years with better stats than Curt...and there's been some lean years of the ballot where Bert didn't get even though who else is on the ballot with Curt will determine when he gets in, if someone with 280 Ws, more Ks, a better ERA and a slightly worse WHIP is still on the ballot for over 11 years, someone who doesn't even have 225 wins, no Cy Youngs, no regular season MVPs but only postseason awards is going to take awhile to get, throw in the era he played in (roids and hgh) where NO ONE is above suspicion, Curt is going to be an interesting case and will take over 7.5 years of being on the ballot for all the voters to decide which is more important - overall career or brilliance in October.

You have one example of a guy who's gotten a raw deal. I have 3 examples (so far) of guys that Schilling beats in regular season stats alone. If I wanted to add in postseason numbers, Schilling would blow away a third of HOF pitchers.

"which is more important - overall career or brilliance in October."

I don't know what you're trying to say...that Schilling had a bad overall career? His numbers in the regular season alone are great anyways.

More examples, then?

Early Wynn (4) - 300 wins, but 244 career losses, and a worse ERA, ERA+, WHIP, BB-K ratio, etc etc

Dennis Eckersley (1) - Schilling has a better ERA, ERA+, WHIP, BB-K ratio. etc...

Should I even continue with this? The fact is, the precedent for guys with Schilling's regular season numbers has already been set. Add in his playoff stats, and you've got a HOFer who deserves to get in on an early ballot.

Yes, no one is above suspicion in the Roids Era, but does that mean that no one from this era is getting into the Hall? Schilling has remained clean and innocent during this era, while guys like McGwire and Bonds have not. They're not getting in, but Curt is, and early at that, like it or not.

Good TD (again), rstowe.


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