Maybe you’ve never heard of him, but Curt Schilling retired today. The only reason you wouldn’t have heard of him is a series of strokes or other brain maladies that made you blind and unable to hear the voice of any ESPN SportsCenter anchor; the rest of America is taking an overdue sigh of relief that the bloviating Boston Red Sox right-hander will be shuffling off this professional coil instead of Favre-ing around for the next couple years, interrupting actual sports so he can opine publicly about whether he should start playing again.
We’re even further indebted to Schilling that he didn’t make this decision via a press conference. As Clay Shirky recently wrote:
[T]he core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.
And though he meant it in terms of the newspaper industry, it applies just as easily to press conferences. Instead of sitting in front of dozens of video cameras and speaking into even more microphones and pretending to cry (hey there, A-Rod!), Schilling merely posted a message on his blog, 38 PITCHES, explaining his decision. That way, Red Sox fans can read it at their own leisure while the rest of the world who could really give a damn less what Schilling does may merrily ignore it altogether. And again, unlike Favre, this appears to be final:
This party has officially ended. After being blessed to experience 23 years of playing professional baseball in front of the world’s best fans in so many different places, it is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official.
[…] Four World Series, three World Championships. That there are men with plaques in Cooperstown who never experienced one, and I was able to be on three teams over seven years that won it all is another ‘beyond my wildest dreams’ set of memories I’ll be allowed to take with me.
Schilling’s message is even appropriately brief; he only spends a few hundred words, and a good amount of them go to thanking God (presumably for never sending Curt to Kansas City) and his family.
Let’s assume Schilling doesn’t pull a Favre. It’s a safe bet; though as SI.COM noticed, he doesn’t mention his lingering shoulder injury in his retirement post, it’s still something that kept him out for all of 2008. So with the assumption that the 42-year-old is done for good, the question now is whether Schilling is a member of the 2013 class of Cooperstown. He’s got three titles and six All-Star appearances, but his 216-146 lifetime record is kind of meh, especially next to a Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine, both of whom will be bringing about 100 more wins to their HOFer resumes.
What do you think: is the outspoken pitcher in the Hall of Fame? If so, what hat does he wear? It’s Baltimore, right? Right??