In a move that came a little over a year after it should have, Curt Schilling announced his retirement yesterday. Curt called it quits after 23 years and as he said “zero regrets”.
Whether or not you agree with his politics (I do) you have to admit that this is one of the most memorable pitchers of our generation. Were his games like Pedro games? No. We would tune in whne Pedro took the hill in April against the Royals just for the possibility of a no hitter. But none of Pedro’s performances were as gutsy as Curt Schilling in the ALCS in 2004 (even coming out of the bullpen against the Indians).
After hobbling off the mound against the Angels in the first round of the playoffs and getting smacked around in game one of the ALCS, we thought it was over. Rumors swirled that Curt would need surgery and would probably miss the rest of the playoffs. Then we heard rumors of the “magic shoe”. The hightop that would allow Schilling to pitch even with a messed up tendon. Then came the surgery. With a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle, which was sutured in place in an unprecedented procedure by Red Sox team doctors, Curt went out and pitched game six of the ALCS and forced a game seven against the Yankees.
We all know the rest. First World Series Championship in 86 years. A 2005 that saw Schilling never recover from the ankle injury. A stint out of the bullpen and a Sox team knocked out in the first round by the White Sox. A healthy 2006 saw a 15-7 record but a Sox team that finished in third out of the playoffs. In his final season Curt was on the DL for a while, finished 9-8, but was instrumental again in another Red Sox World Series title.
A 6-1 post season record with the Sox and the only loss was with a tendon problem in his ankle. Hall of Famer? Not for me to decide, but if I had a vote, he’d get it. 11-2 in the post season speaks for itself.