Schilling earned three wins with a 3.57 ERA in Boston's 2004 playoff run.
Seven members of the Red Sox 2004 World Series team threw out the first pitch before Boston's 4-2 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday night. Designated hitter David Ortiz, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez and catcher Jason Varitek headlined the group, but one key player was conspicuously absent from the mound at Fenway Park, 2004 staff ace Curt Schilling.
Schilling was a key cog in Boston's run to its first World Series title since 1918, famously defeating the Yankees in the "bloody sock game" that was Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. He finished second in Cy Young voting in 2004, going 21–6 in his first season with the Red Sox. Despite his contributions to the Red Sox 2004 championship, the Boston-based former pitcher was not in attendance prior to Game 2.
The three-time World Series champion hasn't been shy in sharing his political opinions since retirement, often with career consequences. Schilling was fired from ESPN in April 2016 after a pair of insensitive online comments, including a degrading meme aimed at the transgender community.
Boston claimed Schilling's political stances didn't affect their decision to exclude him from Wednesday's ceremony. "We did not reach out to [Schilling], but it is not out of spite," a Red Sox executive told The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy.
Schilling didn't seem offended by the lack of invite, per his Twitter.
Schilling won two World Series in four seasons with the Red Sox from 2004-07. He led the league in strikeouts with the Phillies in 1997 and 1998, ending his career with a 3.46 career ERA.
The Red Sox took a 2–0 series lead over the Dodgers on Wednesday behind a pair of RBI from J.D. Martinez. Game 3 will be on Friday night, with first pitch from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles slated for 8:09 p.m. ET.