Curt Schilling says he would be in Hall if he said 'lynch Trump'

One of the most controversial players on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot isn’t doing himself any favors this winter. Curt Schilling is aware he’s going to lose votes this year, and he’s more than willing to speak out about it.

In an interview with TMZ, Schilling suggests he would coast into the Hall of Fame if he had made anti-Trump statements during election season.

Here’s the money quote:

“I promise you, if I had said ‘lynch Trump,’ I would be getting in with about 90 percent of the vote this year.”

Schilling never disappoints with the quotes. If you aren’t already familiar, Schilling’s “lynch Trump,” comment refers to a tweet he sent out in November. It featured a man wearing a shirt that said “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Schilling shared that tweet with the response “OK, so much awesome here.”

Some voters have cited that tweet as a reason they will not vote for Schilling on this year’s ballot. They are allowed to do that due to the character clause, which Schilling also cites in the video.

Curt Schilling has some thoughts about writers who will no longer support his Hall of Fame candidacy. (Getty Images/Cindy Ord)
Curt Schilling has some thoughts about writers who will no longer support his Hall of Fame candidacy. (Getty Images/Cindy Ord)

It appears that tweet, as well as other comments Schilling has made in recent months, will likely contribute to a lower vote total. Last year, Schilling received 52.3 percent of the vote. According to Ryan Thibodaux’s early polling for this year, Schilling is currently trending at 54 percent with 163 ballots revealed. While that’s actually a higher percentage, Schilling has already lost a total of 10 votes from writers who had him on their ballots last year. On top of that, almost every player sees their percentage drop once all the ballots are released.

In fairness, Schilling’s lower vote total isn’t all due to his comments. He’s on what many writers consider a crowded ballot, and it’s possible some have bumped him off in favor of first-timers Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez or Ivan Rodriguez. The BBWAA only allows for a maximum of 10 players to be checked off on each ballot, and in some cases, Schilling may have been someone’s 10th man prior to this year. Some writers have admitted to invoking the character clause when it comes to Schilling, though, so he’s not totally off base with his accusations.

It’s not the first time the pitcher has invoked his support for Donald Trump as the reason he’s lost votes this year. In December, Schilling called out some writers by name, and said certain voters want to hold power over him, and that’s why he hasn’t been inducted yet.

Schilling again went after journalists in the TMZ interview, saying “there are some of the worst human beings I’ve ever known voting.” He later mentions “scumbags,” though it’s unclear whether he’s talking about journalists, or referring to some of the players already in the Hall of Fame. The TMZ video is edited strangely, so you don’t get Schilling’s full thoughts before he says “scumbags.” He doesn’t fully complete his thought after saying “scumbags,” instead jumping to another topic.

Curt Schilling's numbers on the field are strong, but what he's done off the field could keep him from the Hall. (Getty Images/Hunter Martin)
Curt Schilling’s numbers on the field are strong, but what he’s done off the field could keep him from the Hall. (Getty Images/Hunter Martin)

Schilling also mentions the character clause, saying “it’s not used in all cases.” On that point, he’s probably right. The character clause does often seem like a convenient way to keep certain players out of the Hall of Fame. If writers truly applied it the same way with every single player instead of just those who treated them poorly at some point, it might be taken seriously. You don’t often see rigorous discussion about players who were accused of domestic violence, for instance, under the character clause, but you do see it invoked in Schilling’s case. It is, admittedly, a tough situation, but there’s likely some truth to what Schilling is saying here.

On his final point, the one about coasting into the Hall with 90 percent of the vote, well … that was never going to happen. Even before Schilling talked his way into lower vote totals he was only trending at just over 50 percent. He may have eventually fought his way to induction, as some players see their vote totals rise the longer they remain on the ballot, but there’s no way he was getting in at anything close to 90 percent.

Now, he’s probably not getting in at all. We don’t know the extent of Schilling’s drop-off this year, but it seems unlikely he’s going to persuade many of those writers to change their minds moving forward. It’s always possible new voters will inflate his total in the coming years, but it seems unlikely they would move the needle enough to get him to the 75 percent he requires.

For now, Schilling will have to be happy that the candidate he supported won the election. As he told Yahoo Sports in August, he’s perfectly fine with that.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik