Curt Schilling's request to be removed from Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2022 rejected
Curt Schilling is still eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The former MLB pitcher's request to have his name removed from the 2022 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot was denied in a unanimous decision by the 17-member board of directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum on Thursday.
Schilling will remain eligible for the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time.
In January, the former Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had requested that his name be taken off the ballot.
Schilling narrowly missed election to the Hall of Fame in 2021, getting named on 71.1% of 301 ballots.
He was just 16 voted shy of the 75% required for induction.
It was Schilling’s ninth year of eligibility, and his vote share has nearly doubled since receiving 38.8% in 2013.
Schilling requested he be removed from Hall of Fame consideration in his final year of eligibility in a Facebook post, writing that he would like to later have the chance to be selected by the Veterans' Committee.
"I wanted to reiterate this final point," he wrote. "I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. I don’t think I’m a hall of famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor."
Schilling – a six-time All-Star over 20 seasons with Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona and Boston – has been embroiled in controversy throughout his retirement.
He launched a video game company, 38 Studios, that went bankrupt shortly after receiving a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island, then was fired as an ESPN analyst after he sent a tweet comparing Muslim extremists to Nazi-era Germans and posted a derogatory Facebook comment about transgender people.
Months later, Schilling was again criticized after using social media to applaud a T-shirt calling for journalists to be lynched.
On Jan. 6, the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, he said the following in a message on his Twitter account:
“You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for air Jordan’s and big screens, sit back …. and watch folks start a confrontation for (expletive) that matters like rights, democracy and the end of govt corruption.”
Schilling slammed the writers that didn't vote for him in his Facebook post.
"As I’ve stated often over the past years to those I’ve spoken with in my heart I am at peace," Schilling wrote on Facebook. "Nothing, zero, none of the claims being made by any of the writers hold merit. In my 22 years playing professional baseball in the most culturally diverse locker rooms in sports I’ve never said or acted in any capacity other than being a good teammate.
"I’ve certainly been exposed to racism and sexism and homophobia as it’s part of who human beings are. I’ve played with and talked with gay teammates. I’ve played with wife beaters, adulterers, assaulted, drug addicts and alcoholics. I’ve never hit a woman, driven drunk, done drugs, PEDs or otherwise, assaulted anyone or committed any sort of crime.
"But I’m now somehow in a conversation with two men who cheated, and instead of being accountable they chose to destroy others lives to protect their lie.
"I will always have one thing they will forever chase. A legacy. Whatever mine is as a player it will be the truth, and one I earned for better or worse.
"Having said all that the media has created a Curt Schilling that does not and has never existed. It’s one of the things that has allowed me to sleep at night."
Jack O’Connell, the secretary and treasurer for the Baseball Writers Association of America, which conducts the voting for the Hall of Fame, said in a statement after Schilling's request in January that removing Schilling from the ballot now would violate the bylaws set by the BBWAA and Hall, since Schilling has easily received more than the 5% necessary to remain on the ballot.
“It is the position of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that Mr. Schilling’s request to remove himself from the ballot is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors, who have commissioned the BBWAA to conduct the annual elections,” O’Connell wrote. “The association has abided by the rules for 85 years and will continue to do so. The BBWAA urges the Hall of Fame to reject Mr. Schilling’s request.”
USA TODAY Sports' Gabe Lacques and the Associated Press contributed to this story.