After missing out on election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by 16 votes on Tuesday, former pitcher Curt Schilling announced that he does not intend to have his name on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for 2022 -- which would be his 10th and final year of eligibility.
“I will not participate in the final year of voting,” Schilling wrote in a letter to the Hall of Fame that he shared publicly on social media. “I am requesting to be removed from the ballot.”
Jane Forbes Clark, the Chairman of the Board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, released a statement on Schilling’s request Tuesday night.
"As you know, the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame sets the rules and procedures for the BBWAA balloting process," the statement read. "The Board has received Curt Schilling's request for removal from the 2022 ballot, and will consider the request at our next meeting."
Jack O'Connell, secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA, issued the following statement:
"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, specifically the following:
“'The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.'
"Mr. Schilling has fulfilled both of those requirements and should remain on the ballot for consideration by the voting body for what would be his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2022.
"The Hall of Fame assigned the BBWAA to be the electorate in 1936. This association has abided by the rules for 85 years and shall continue to do so. The BBWAA urges the board to reject Mr. Schilling’s request."
Schilling, 54, appeared on 71.1% of BBWAA ballots in this year’s voting cycle, falling short of the required 75% threshold for Hall of Fame election. No players on the ballot reached that threshold this year.
The former Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox star finished his 20-year career with strong statistical credentials, including 3,116 strikeouts and a career 2.23 ERA in postseason play as a major contributor to three World Series championship titles. But Schilling has also turned off potential voters with his history of offensive, intolerant comments, most recently in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
While Schilling was effusive in praising the Hall of Fame itself, he stated in the letter that he is “at peace” with the possibility that he would not reach that 75% threshold next year.
“First off, I am not sure I can express my level of gratitude and sincere appreciation at the graciousness, kindness and desire on all your parts to help me navigate this process,” Schilling wrote to the Hall. “I can say at this point I am mentally done. I know math and I know trends and I know I will not attain the 75% threshold for induction.
“I will not participate in the final year of voting,” Schilling added later in the letter. “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.”