After congratulating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on their return to the Super Bowl, President Donald Trump shifted his attention to another Boston sports hero — Curt Schilling.
“Curt Schilling deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Trump wrote on Twitter late Sunday night. “Great record, especially when under pressure and when it mattered most.”
Schilling spent 20 years in the league as a pitcher, posting a 216-146 record and a career 3.46 ERA with three teams — the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros. Phillies, Red Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s probably best known for his heroics during the “bloody sock” game during the 2004 World Series between the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, when his loose ankle tendon was sutured back into his skin.
Unfortunately for Schilling, Trump’s endorsement won’t carry much weight with Baseball Writers' Association of America voters for one simple reason: Ballots were due Dec. 31. Results will be announced Tuesday.
Why the out-of-the-blue endorsement for a pitcher who has spent the past six years failing to make the cut among hall of fame voters? As Trump noted in his tweet, the president was watching Fox News Sunday night when Schilling appeared on Life, Liberty & Levin, hosted by longtime conservative radio host and Philadelphia native Mark Levin.
Not surprisingly, Schilling — a longtime Trump supporter who hosts a podcast for Breitbart News – spent much of the interview praising the president’s demands for $5.7 billion for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a position that has led to a partial government shutdown that’s now in its fifth week with no signs of ending.
“Trump’s going to win in 2020… [The left] will be apoplectic, more so than they are now,” Schilling said. “[Trump’s] not going to give in. He’s not going to end this shutdown until he gets his money.”
Trump is known for spending much of his time watching cable news channels, specifically Fox News, where he often receives and shares favorable coverage from the network’s opinion hosts. In his new book Team of Vipers, former White House staffer and Trump supporter Cliff Sims claims the president is so obsessed with the coverage he receives, he has staffers print out screenshots showing the chyrons networks display at the bottom of their news coverage.
Trump has repeatedly denied that he watches much cable news coverage.
“Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One back in 2017. "People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources.”
Trump does have a bit of a baseball background. He was a good enough player during high school at the New York Military Academy that he was scouted by two professional teams — the Phillies and Red Sox, his former coach, Col. Ted Dobias, has said.
“I was captain of the baseball team,” Trump told MTV in 2010. “I was supposed to be a professional baseball player. Fortunately, I decided to go into real estate instead. I played first base and I also played catcher. I was a good hitter. I just had a good time.”
In October, during Game 4 of the World Series, Trump offered his unsolicited thoughts on Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ decision to turn to reliever Ryan Madson instead of sticking with starter Rich Hill, who had kept the Boston Red Sox scoreless through more than six innings.