Retired Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling tells Breitbart News Daily that he would never change who he is—an outspoken conservative—to get into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
“No, you know the answer to that question before you even ask it,” Schilling replied when Stephen K. Bannon asked if he’d trade being able to voice his opinions in favor of conservatism for a slot in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Schilling, who has previously suggested that he didn’t get nominated to the Hall of Fame despite his stellar record because he’s a Republican—and an outspoken one at that—made clear to Bannon that he will never change who he is to appease the electors to the Hall of Fame.
“One thing I was told early in my career is when you walk out on the field, the name on the back of your jersey is not yours—it’s your dad’s,” Schilling said on the show, aired on SiriusXM Patriot 125.
I’ve carried that with me forever as something—I’ve worked harder and learned more about my father since he passed than when he was alive, because when he was alive I was young and I knew everything. Now, I’m a father of four and a husband and I’ve gone through adversity I’ve gone through and he is the reason I’m still standing. Obviously, my lord and savior is the reason I’m here but my father is the one who helped instill in me the things that mattered and the one thing I try to tell people is don’t ever live your life to make people who will never meet you think good of you. My family and my friends, the people that know me know what kind of person I am. I shouldn’t have to—no one should have to act or speak or be a certain way for other people to approve. But that’s the world we live in when you look at what’s on television and reality TV and all the things that are going on, people are more concerned about what people they don’t know think of them than they are about the people that do know them. That’s where you get into trouble I think.
Schilling’s bloody sock performance has become lore in Boston sports history as he led the Red Sox to victory in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) over the New York Yankees in the Bronx, sending the series to a Game 7 where the Red Sox ultimately prevailed and went on to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years—effectively defeating the “Curse of the Great Bambino,” which started in the 1920s after Boston’s owner traded all-time great Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
Only the Chicago Cubs have gone longer with no World Series win—a streak for them that lasts to this day, dating back more than 100 years ago to 1908 with no league championship. Schilling pitched through that Game 6 with a serious ankle injury, which led his sock to become soaked with blood as the game went on. Later, the infamous “bloody sock” was auctioned off for more than $92,000 as it’s become a part of sports history.
Schilling, statistically speaking after his career, matches up better for the Hall of Fame than some of those who have been enshrined. That includes, for instance, John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves. Yahoo Sports, when covering Schilling’s comments a year ago about him being a Republican and Smoltz being a Democrat, detailed has lesser statistics than Schilling.
On the JAWS scale that rates players, Smoltz—who was elected on the first ballot in 2015, while Schilling didn’t make the cut after a few ballots last year—has a lower rating than Schilling. But Schilling didn’t make it last year and he missed the cut again in 2016, despite the fact he obviously deserves in to the Hall of Fame.
Nonetheless, Schilling maintains he is going to continue to speak out against political correctness, telling Bannon on Monday morning that he thinks the permanent political class in Washington, D.C., wants to keep “dumbing down” the public so it can achieve its objectives with protesting from the citizenry.
“The Internet has kind of allowed me to go to a virtual library whenever I want to find out something about something, and not use one source but find multiple ways to research certain topics or subjects,” Schilling said.
I do it all the time now with politics, understanding that there’s a bias everywhere which is fine—that’s normal—but a lot of the bias for me is just white noise and so you have got to try to filter that out and find out what the real message is or what’s really happening because if you look around the Internet the amount of fluff that’s posted hourly has to be staggering at this point, because I think the political system is counting on a dumbing down of the American people to make it go a certain way and that to me is the opposite of what we want to do. We want to be informed. We want to make educated votes. Whether you agree with me or not—whether you’re a Democrat or conservative or independent—if you’re going to pull a lever and you’re going to cast a ballot for somebody, please have an idea and a reason why.
Bannon noted next that Americans have “forgotten this sense of what victory is,” as a nation—something that shines through especially in the military, with the U.S. military now “nation-building” rather than providing for the common defense and winning wars.
Schilling said he “absolutely” agreed, and said that’s because “the definition of victory from a military perspective has changed.”
“It’s not about conquering a nation of people trying to overrun the world and then having the people in that nation rebuild themselves,” Schilling said.
When you battle an ideology as opposed to an enemy—this is very much like Vietnam in the sense that you are battling an enemy that has no uniform. And when an 8-year-old child is as lethal, potentially, as a 25-year-old militant, that doesn’t fit the profile of how you train your soldiers of we train our soldiers. You’re taught to kill the enemy combatant but when you don’t know who that is it can create some extremely difficult circumstances. Having been over there three times on three separate occasions, and getting a chance to see what I saw, I’ll tell you the one thing it did for me above all else: It made me realize that the war that I was reading about was not the war that was happening. That was probably as terrifying and disconcerting to me as anything, because I was over there in 2008 and a couple times after that and the soldiers that I saw and talked to and the citizens of Iraq that I had a chance to interact with—it was all about ‘thank you. Thank you for coming over and helping us, this is—there’s no way out of this without intervention outside. We don’t have the ability to do the things we need to do to live a normal life.’ That was disconcerting to me to see that but it was also—I keep saying it, I thank God every day that I live in a nation that makes men and women like that that serve.
When Bannon asked for some examples of what is different between what was being reported in the news media about the war in Iraq and what Schilling saw when he visited there, he pointed to how soldiers were literally teaching kids about how to read and write—and taking that power of being community leaders away from radical Islamists who had influenced the whole population for years prior. Now that the U.S. military has withdrawn from Iraq, that has left a vacuum for the Islamists to rise up in power over a largely uneducated population again.
“For example, I went into a FOB—or Forward Operating Base—on the outskirts of Baghdad. It was in an old Ba’ath Party kind of retirement city, pre-war population like 55,000 and then there was probably like 10,000 or 12,000 people in the city at the time that I went there,” Schilling said.
The base was in the middle of the city. There was no wall around it. And every morning, the citizens from the area would come walking in to barter with the soldiers. The soldiers were on patrol every day but also all of their work entailed clean-up, building infrastructure. They were out building water mains and they were putting together infrastructure for the civilians of the city to live and to provide. They were teaching the kids basic language skills about reading and writing—and at that point, and I think a lot of years prior to that, the mentor and teacher in that area was the radical on the corner reading the Koran. And when you have a populous that isn’t educated and you have radicals that are, that’s an evil, evil combination. A lot of soldiers recognize that and I think that was incredibly powerful—I had multiple incredibly powerful experiences being over there, but what we were reading was, we don’t have stick-to-it-ed-ness like we used to. If you remember 2001, and the year after following 2001, what was the reaction following 9/11? It was ‘go get them and kill them all.’ And that tapered off so quickly to the point where when the war stopped being able to be the political football politicians wanted it to be, it moved to page 11—and I don’t think that’s right in any circumstance.
When asked about the situation in Cologne—where Islamic radical refugees are engaging in widespread sexual assaults in the German city—Schilling said he doesn’t think he’s ever seen anything like this before.
“I don’t think that in our lifetimes—in the last four or five or six generations, I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like this,” Schilling said.
And the reason is the very thing that you’re involved in, and that’s media. The amount of coverage—we are instantaneously connected to the entire world, so we get to hear everything literally moment by moment. I don’t know what the strategy for the radical wing of Islam is, but I know it’s working. I can remember a year or two ago, people talking about “hey listen you guys are getting—you’re overreacting and they’ll do it, they’ll take care of it, and this is nothing, blah blah blah.” But now they’re on our soil, killing our men and women and children and admitting it, publicly yelling it and we still have people who will deny it publicly that this violence is not attributable to a religion and that “it’s just a couple people.” Well, it’s always a couple people. What was it, 10 or 20 people on 9/11 that flew the planes into the ground and into the buildings? It doesn’t take a majority—it takes a silent majority versus a vocal minority, and I think that’s exactly where we’re at. I think we vastly underestimate what that minority looks like and is.
Hear the interview: