Before the 2004 season, he came to us with an impressive resume and a promise to break a curse after being wooed to Boston by Theo and Co. over Thanksgiving dinner.
That 2004 season is legend, and needs no explanation. Schilling made good on his promise, and the Red Sox became World Series champions for the first time in 86 years. Three seasons later, Curt helped the team to another World Series championship, and unofficially passed the 'ace' torch to our young fireballer, Josh Beckett. At that point, some suspected, but no one knew it would be Schilling's last hoorah. He was not able to participate in 2008 due to shoulder issues. Over the last year, we sort of knew it was coming. It just seemed like too big of an obstacle to get him back. The last game he pitched was a win in the World Series, 5.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA. That's as close to vintage Curt as we could ever hope for, and the perfect way to step out.
I wish he would have known how tough the rehab and possible return would have been right then and there, and maybe he could have retired on top instead of waiting a year trying to bounce back from surgery. I think everyone would have put their hearts into saying goodbye to this man just a little bit more. He meant so much to the baseball fans in Boston, for us to not be able to give him a proper send off seems unfair. Although, there was always the parade... I guess you can't get a much better send-off than a parade.
He's got a big mouth, and a ton of opinions that no one wants most of the time, but you could see how much he truly loved the game, and appreciated the fans. How much more could you ask for from an athlete? Few athletes made themselves and their lives so easily accesible to fans. Of course, his blog tended to get him into trouble, but admit it... it was awesome that a major league player was willing to blog and let us know what was going on. He may be a loudmouth republican (my favorite nickname for him), but nothing Schilling has ever said or written has gotten me angry. I've found great appreciation for him and great amusement from him. While I never got to see him pitch live, I can never forget what he brought to the Red Sox.
Love him or hate him, he essentially destroyed the remainder of his career to bring us that World Series in 2004. He bled for us. He put his health on the line. We watched him pitch his heart out every time he took that mound, and that's all I ever asked of him. Some might say he did it all for the personal glory, but honestly, the reason does not matter to me. All I care about is that he did what he said he was going to do, and he amused me along the way. Thank you, Curt, for everything you've done for the Red Sox and the communities that you constantly help out. You will be missed on that mound.
I hope you get into the hall of fame, because that's one induction speech that I just don't want to miss.
3 weeks ago