Former D-backs RJ, Gonzo think Schilling will get into HOF next year

Feb 16, 2020, 6:05 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling reacts during the fifth innning against the New York Yankees i...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling reacts during the fifth innning against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2001 at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling has just two more years of eligibility on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Two of his star teammates with Arizona told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Saturday during D-backs Fan Fest that they think next year is his year.

Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez said they believe Schilling will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021.

“If I had to guess, I would say that Curt will get in next year,” Johnson said. “There are no big-name players. Mariano Rivera got in, (Derek) Jeter now, so now the ballot (has) no for-sure people other than Curt. I think all Curt’s been lacking is votes and I think attention will be turned toward him next year.”

Schilling has continuously gotten closer to the 75% mark needed over the years.

This last voting cycle, he received 70% of the vote, up from 60.9% in 2019. In 2017 and 2018, respectively, he received 45% and 51.2%.

Schilling finished his career with 216 wins and a 3.46 ERA. His 3,116 career strikeouts is 15th-best in MLB history. The only retired pitcher with a better strikeout-to-walk ratio retired in 1884, and Schilling pitched at least twice as many seasons as any current player ahead of him.

Where he really makes his case is the postseason. In 19 postseason games, Schilling went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA. He was named MVP of the National League Championship Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993, co-World Series MVP with the D-backs in 2001, and has one of the iconic World Series pitching moments with the “bloody sock” game for the Red Sox in 2004.

“Slept real good the night before knowing that I didn’t have to face him, No. 1, and No. 2 that they were taking the mound,” Gonzalez said, referencing both Schilling and Johnson with his second point.

Gonzalez thinks Arizona’s two aces made each other better.

“They would silently kind of compete against each other,” he said. “They never talked about it but you knew if Curt had a good game the night before, we were really excited because we knew this guy (Johnson) was going to come out. If Curt struck out 10 or 11, this guy was going to come out and strike out 14 or 15.

“It was just the quiet competitiveness that they had. It elevates guys to the next level because you want your team to do well, but you’re like, ‘I’m the big dog here and I’m going out there to do it.'”

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Former D-backs RJ, Gonzo think Schilling will get into HOF next year