After no one was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time since 2013, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling posted a letter on social media, requesting to be removed from the 2022 ballot.
"I can say at this point I am mentally done," Schilling wrote. "I know math and I know trends and I know I will not attain the 75% threshold for induction.
"As I’ve stated often over the past years to those I’ve spoken with in my heart I am at peace. Nothing, zero, none of the claims being made by any of the writers hold merit. In my 22 years playing professional baseball in the most culturally diverse locker rooms in sports I’ve never said or acted in any capacity other than being a good teammate."
Schilling fell 16 votes short, yielding 71.1% of the vote. He was 20 votes shy in 2020 when Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker were elected.
However, his vote share has nearly doubled since receiving 38.8% in 2013.
The pitcher had one year of eligibility left to be inducted but made his disdain for the media clear in his 1,000-plus-word statement. Schilling highlighted how his history of transphobic and violent statements have been conflated with performance-enhancing drug users.
"I’ve certainly been exposed to racism and sexism and homophobia as it’s part of who human beings are," Schilling wrote in his letter. "I’ve played with and talked with gay teammates. I’ve played with wife beaters, adulterers, assaulted [sic], drug addicts and alcoholics. I’ve never hit a woman, driven drunk, done drugs, PEDs or otherwise, assaulted anyone or committed any sort of crime.
"But I’m now somehow in a conversation with two men who cheated, and instead of being accountable they chose to destroy others' lives to protect their lie."
The Baseball Writers' Association of America addressed Schilling's request to be taken off the ballot on Wednesday morning. The BBWAA said Schilling should remain on the ballot through 2022, which will mark his final year of Hall of Fame eligibility.
Schilling was fired in 2016 from his role on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball after posting a transphobic meme to his Facebook page. He has shown support for a meme that read “Rope. Tree. Journalist,” and tweeted in support of the rioters in the violent Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
"You cowards sat on your hands, did nothing while liberal trash looted rioted and burned for Air Jordan’s and big screens," Schilling tweeted. "sit back [shut up] and watch folks start a confrontation for [expletive] that matters like rights, democracy and the end of [government] corruption. #itshappening."
Ballots were postmarked on Dec. 31, meaning there was no potential blowback from his remarks about the insurrection that killed five people.
"I will always have one thing they will forever chase. A legacy," Schilling wrote. "Whatever mine is as a player it will be the truth, and one I earned for better or worse.
"Having said all that the media has created a Curt Schilling that does not and has never existed. It’s one of the things that has allowed me to sleep at night."