PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling believes he would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year if he said “Lynch Trump.”
Schilling, a three-time World Series champion, told TMZ Sports that he knows voters won’t support him for his conservative views he’s shared across social media.
“They’re not hiding the fact that they’ve stopped voting for me because of the things I’ve said on social media,” Schilling said. “That’s their prerogative as voters.”
Some Hall of Fame writers said they would not vote for Schilling after he tweeted a picture of a man at a Donald Trump rally wearing t-shirt advocating the lynching of journalists.
“Ok, so much awesome here,” Schilling tweeted about the shirt that read, “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”
Schilling deleted the tweet, but received blowback from Baseball Writers’ Association of America members Jon Heyman, Jeff Blair and Mike Vaccaro.
“They’re not going to vote for me because of the character clause,” Schilling told TMZ Sports, adding that some of the voters are “the worst human beings I’ve ever known.”
On the Hall of Fame website, the character clause reads, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Schilling stated that voters “pick and choose” when to use the character clause.
“It’s not used in all cases. They pick and choose when they use the character clause,” Schilling told TMZ Sports. “I promise you if I had said, ‘Lynch Trump,’ I would be getting in with about 90 percent of the vote this year.”
According to Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame ballot tracker, Schilling has garnered only 54 percent of the vote of the 161 known ballots. Thibodaux estimates 435 will be cast. Seventy-percent of the vote is needed to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
This is Schilling’s fifth year on the ballot. Last year, he received 52.3 percent of the vote.
Schilling’s controversial social media presence cost him his job at ESPN last April as he was fired over an anti-transgender post on Facebook. In 2015, ESPN also suspended Schilling over an anti-Muslim tweet.
Over a 20-year career, the six-time All-Star also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox.