On Sunday, the Baseball Hall of Fame holds its ceremony inducting the 2022 class. The new class in Cooperstown this year includes one inductee from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, David Ortiz, along with Golden Days Era Committee electees Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, and Tony Oliva and Early Baseball Era Committee electees Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil — all of whom deserve the honor.

One of the most notable things about this year’s class is that most of the mainstays from the “steroid era” of the ’90s have run out of eligibility. But so has one other notable name who definitely deserves a place in Cooperstown: Curt Schilling.

Schilling had a stellar career that spanned two decades, compiling a record of 216-146 with a total of five teams. He finished half of those seasons with double-digit wins, including three seasons with 20 or more wins. A ratio of 3,116 strikeouts to 711 walks is nothing to sneeze at either. He also managed to avoid the steroid controversy that plagued so many of his peers, testifying before Congress in 2005 against the use of performance-enhancing substances, even though he told the committee that “The issue was grossly overstated by people, including myself.”

On top of all that, Schilling has done tremendous charity work over the years. During his MLB career, he set up a foundation that allowed fans to donate to find a cure for ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) for every strikeout he pitched. He has won multiple awards for his humanitarian efforts.

So why hasn’t Schilling made his way into Cooperstown? There’s one glaring potential reason: politics.

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You see, Schilling is a committed and outspoken conservative. He actively campaigned for George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004 and supported John McCain in 2008. He considered running for Senate as a Republican in 2008 and 2018. He has waded into multiple controversies on Twitter over the years, including a tweet that led ESPN to fire him for being anti-transgender in 2016. He has even attended Trump rallies and written columns for Breitbart.

All of those things make Schilling anathema to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, whose members, like so many others in sports media, lean to the left.

Schilling’s “outspoken opinions rub baseball writers, who make their living noising their own opinions, so raw that they could not abide voting him into the Hall of Fame,” writes Tom Raabe at The American Spectator.

The veteran pitcher hasn’t helped his case by being vocal about his disdain for Hall of Fame voters.

“In this, his last year of eligibility, he received only 58.6 percent of the votes,” Raabe points out. “It didn’t help that after last year’s voting, irritated at falling short with 71.1 percent of the votes, Schilling wrote a nasty letter to the Hall asking to be deleted from his final year’s ballot.”

In that letter, Schilling resigned himself to never being in the good graces of the baseball writers.

“I am requesting to be removed from the ballot,” he wrote. “I’ll defer to the veterans’ committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player.”

It’s a shame that a player of the caliber of Curt Schilling hasn’t found his way into the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping the veterans will choose him one day before it’s too late for him to enjoy it.

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