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January 07, 2015

Schilling: I'm not in Hall of Fame because I am a Republican

There are many who think Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame election process has become much too political. And then there’s former Phillie Curt Schilling, who believes the reason he wasn’t elected when the 2015 results were announced on Tuesday was because he’s much too political.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were elected Tuesday — Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz in their first year on the ballot. Schilling finished with 215 votes (39.2 percent) — 240 behind Smoltz, despite putting up numbers that compare favorably with the former Brave right-hander's. Seventy-five percent of the vote is required for election.  

“I think he got [the votes] because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine,” Schilling told Boston radio station WEEI on Wednesday.

“The fact that they won 14 straight pennants I think... his Swiss-army-knife versatility... I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that and he's a Hall of Famer so … and I think the other big thing is, I think he's a Democrat, and so... I know that as a Republican that there's some people that really don't like that.”

Smoltz was 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA in 21 seasons. He served as the Braves’ closer for four seasons, saving 154 games. Schilling was 216-146 over his 20-year career, including 101-78 in nine seasons with the Phillies. He was one of the game’s most-dominant postseason pitchers ever, going 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA.

But Schilling was an outspoken supporter of George W. Bush, something he thinks has caused some Hall of Fame voters who don’t agree with his politics to second-guess his numbers.

“When human beings do something, anything, there's bias and prejudice,” Schilling said. “Listen, nine percent of the voters did not vote for Pedro. There's something wrong with the process and some of the people in the process when that happens.

“I don't think that it kept me out or anything like that but I do know there are guys who probably will never vote for me because of the things I said or did. That's the way it works.”