President Donald Trump doesn’t tweet about sports all that often. Sure, he assailed Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who protested during the national anthem, denouncing them as “sons of b**ches” in 2017. But sports are far from the main focus of the president’s tweets. Occasionally Trump will praise championship athletes, such as on Sunday night, when he congratulated the New England Patriots on advancing to the Super Bowl.
But Trump sent another tweet on Sunday, expressing a sports opinion: He called for the election of former pitcher Curt Schilling to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In the tweet, Trump tagged conservative host Mark Levin’s radio show, as Schilling appeared on the show over the weekend.
Schilling pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox in a 20-year major league career. He won 216 games, and had an 11-2 postseason record, pitching for three World Series-winning teams. Most famously, he pitched with a “bloody sock” for the Red Sox in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in 2004, contributing to Boston’s comeback victory over the New York Yankees.
After retiring, and following both a successful cancer battle and his disastrous attempt to become a video game entrepreneur, Schilling has emerged as a conservative pundit, hosting a Breitbart radio show since 2016. That same year, he was fired from an on-air role with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball after anti-transgender social media postings. An outspoken Trump supporter, Schilling has also endorsed the QAnon conspiracy theory, per Inquisitr.
— Boston Informer (@boston_informer) January 21, 2019
Schilling has been eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the last five years. The Hall selection process, in which baseball writers vote, requires votes from 75 percent of voters in order for players to gain induction. Schilling got 52.3 percent of voters in 2016, which dropped to 45 percent in 2017, and back up to 51.2 percent in 2018, per CBS Sports.
Will Trump’s tweet make any difference to Schilling’s chances this year? No, for a simple reason: As pointed out by NBC Sports and others, Hall of Fame voting closed weeks ago, so even if the baseball writers were persuaded by the president’s argument, it’s too late to affect their vote.
This year’s Baseball Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Tuesday afternoon. In addition to Schilling, top contenders include Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina.