The 2020 BBWAA Hall of Fame vote has been revealed and we now know that Derek Jeter and Larry Walker will join veterans committee inductees Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller this coming July in Cooperstown. Curt Schilling came up shy once again, but if the trend continues on this path, he'll be a Hall of Famer in the next two years.
Schilling got 70 percent of the vote in his eighth year on the ballot. He needs 75 percent in order to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame and there are two more chances before he's set to fall off the ballot.
In 2016, Schilling rose to 52.3 percent of the vote, but he fell to 45 percent in the next go-round. The voting dip came after Schilling called a t-shirt referencing the lynching of journalists "awesome." Schilling shortly after that, but his numbers have risen again in recent years, including on the 2020 ballot.
Here are Schilling's vote percentages starting with 2017 to show the upward trend:
- 2017: 45.0
- 2018: 51.2
- 2019: 60.9
- 2020: 70.0
Again, there are two more chances with Schilling on the ballot. This is good news for Schilling and those who support his Hall of Fame candidacy.
There's more good news for him, too.
Jeter and Larry Walker came off the ballot. The best players coming on the ballot next year are Mark Buehrle and Tim Hudson, both pitchers who have far inferior resumes to that of Schilling. This is to say that the 10-vote maximum for voters shouldn't hamper Schilling in the least moving forward. The coast is clear.
Schilling's on-field case is clear, too. He led his league in wins twice, complete games four times, innings twice, strikeouts twice, WHIP twice, was a six-time All-Star and finished second in Cy Young voting three times. He won three World Series rings while securing an NLCS MVP and World Series MVP. He's one of the greatest playoff pitchers in history. In 19 October starts, he went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 120 strikeouts against 25 walks in 133 1/3 innings. And yes, there's a signature moment in there involving blood and a sock.
His WAR is above the average Hall of Fame starting pitcher and tops the likes of John Smoltz, Jim Palmer, Carl Hubbell, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Roy Halladay, Bob Feller and Juan Marichal among others.
At this point, it's pretty simple. The only thing standing in the way of Schilling making the Hall of Fame is probably his rhetoric in recent years. It's entirely possible that leads to his vote percentage plateauing before it hits 75 percent, too.
Given the upward trend in voting totals, the lack of players standing in his way next year and his player resume, the path seems relatively clear for Schilling to make the Hall of Fame.