Hall of Fame voting? Morris yes, Schilling no
The Hall of Fame voting is coming up on us and there are a few people that I don’t quite understand what Hall induction is supposed to be based on. I hear arguments that Jack Morris should not be voted in, and I have heard arguments that Curt Schilling should be.
Let’s clear this up. Inclusion in the Hall of Fame is in recognition of an outstanding career. It is not based on Postseason performance. If we compare Jack Morris’ numbers to Schilling’s and we remove the Postseason — where Schilling was 11-2 and Morris was 7-4 — and we get down to the career numbers, I think you will see what I’m talking about.
Won/Loss: Morris 254-186, Schilling-216-146
Career duration: Morris 18 seasons (all in the AL), Schilling 20 seasons (14 in the NL where there are only eight hitters in the lineup)
ERA: Morris 3.90, Schilling 3.35 (4.00 during six seasons in the AL)
Seasons with 15 or more wins: Morris 12, Schilling 8
Seasons with single-digit wins: Morris 4, Schilling 10
Innings Pitched: Morris 3,824, Schilling 3,261
Complete games: Morris 175, Schilling 83
Shutouts: Morris 28, Schilling 20
This all speaks to my point. The Hall of Fame is recognition of a career, not Postseason stats! Postseason stats don’t count towards MVP or the Cy Young Award. There is a reason for that. There are many great ballplayers who didn’t have the good fortune to play on teams good enough to get to the Postseason. If the people who vote on this induction only care about Postseason performance, then Greg Maddux one of the best pitchers in the history of our game, wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer! He was just 11-14 in his Postseason career!
If they come up with a Postseason Hall of Fame, Curt Schilling is a first ballot Hall of Famer! But until they do, he was a good pitcher, but his career is not Hall of Fame worthy.
One final point on the Hall of Fame: the fact that Lee Smith has not been voted in is, in my opinion, a joke! When he retired he was the all-time leader in saves with 478. (He has since been passed by Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.) And his career ERA — which for a closer is a stat that can be very easily inflated for the season by one bad outing — was 3.03.
The telltale sign for me would be poll the players. Ask all the hitters that faced Lee, Trevor and Mo who they would have rather faced in the ninth. Trust me, Lee Arthur would be last on that list!