Schilling, Curt

Schilling, Curt
▪ 2005

      While the Boston Red Sox and their memorable play-off run were the story of Major League Baseball in 2004, the story within the story was Boston pitcher Curt Schilling's eventful (and painful) experience during the postseason. Playing despite a serious ankle injury, Schilling helped the Sox rally from a three games-to-none deficit to their bitter rivals, the New York Yankees, to win the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and then sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, ending the Red Sox 86-year world championship drought.

      Traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Red Sox before the start of the 2004 season, Schilling arrived in Boston with a reputation as a winner who could help end the drought that had become an obsession for many New England baseball fans. Through the regular season he pitched brilliantly, amassing 21 wins and a 3.26 earned run average. He pitched well in his start against the Anaheim Angels in the division series, but during that game he tore the sheath surrounding the tendon in his ankle. Despite the injury, Schilling was scheduled to start game one of the ALCS in Yankee Stadium, and before the game he boasted that he looked forward to “making 55,000 people from New York shut up.” Schilling, however—clearly bothered by his injured ankle—lasted only three innings, giving up six runs, and the Red Sox lost the game. For his next start he underwent a surgical procedure that stabilized the tendon by placing three sutures through the skin. The procedure was painful and only temporary (the sutures were removed after he pitched), but it allowed the burly right-hander a shot at redemption in game six in Yankee Stadium. With blood from the sutures soaking through his sock, he pitched seven innings and surrendered only one run as the Red Sox tied the ALCS. He underwent the procedure once more to win the second game of the World Series. Schilling's courage in fighting through the pain seemed to underscore the determination of the Red Sox finally to put to rest years of disappointment and heartache for their loyal fans.

      Curtis Montague Schilling was born on Nov. 14, 1966, in Anchorage, Alaska, and in 1988 he made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles. In addition to the Red Sox and the Orioles, he also pitched for the Houston Astros (1991), the Philadelphia Phillies (1992–2000), and the Diamondbacks (2000–03). He came to prominence as a starting pitcher with the Phillies in 1993, when he helped that team win the National League pennant. In 2001 he teamed with left-hander Randy Johnson to form the most imposing pitching duo in baseball. That year the Diamondbacks upset the Yankees in the World Series, with Schilling and Johnson sharing Most Valuable Player honours.

James Hennelly

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▪ American athlete
byname of  Curtis Montague Schilling 
born Nov. 14, 1966, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.

      American professional baseball player, who emerged as a leading pitcher in the 1990s and helped both the Arizona Diamondbacks (2001) and the Boston Red Sox (2004 and 2007) win the World Series.

      Schilling was drafted by the Red Sox out of Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, Ariz., and made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1988. He was traded to the Houston Astros in 1991 and to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1992. The following year he came to prominence as a starting pitcher, winning 16 games and helping the Phillies reach the World Series. Over the next three seasons, however, he struggled, posting losing records. In 1997 he returned to form with 17 wins. Schilling was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000, and the following year he teamed with left-hander Randy Johnson to form one of the most imposing pitching duos in baseball. In 2001 Schilling won 22 games and compiled a 2.98 earned run average. That year he helped the Diamondbacks upset the New York Yankees to win the World Series. Schilling and Johnson shared Most Valuable Player honours.

      In 2003 Schilling signed with the Red Sox, and the following year he had a stellar season. His 21 wins were the most in the league and marked the third time Schilling had posted 20 or more victories in a single season (2001 and 2002). Aided by his pitching, Boston staged a remarkable play-off run in 2004. Playing despite a serious ankle injury, Schilling helped the Red Sox rally from a three-games-to-none deficit to the New York Yankees to win the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and then sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, ending the Red Sox's 86-year world championship drought. His 2005 season was marred by injuries, but in 2006 Schilling became the 14th pitcher in league history to accumulate 3,000 strikeouts and the 3rd to do so before compiling 1,000 walks. Hampered again by injuries, Schilling won only nine games in the 2007 regular season, but his three postseason wins helped the Red Sox capture another World Series championship.

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Universalium. 2010.

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