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Curt Schilling

Curtis Montague Schilling (born November 14, 1966) is an American Major League Baseball player, a right-handed starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks following the 2003 season.
Schilling has won League Championship titles with three dark-horse teams; in 1993 with the Philadelphia Phillies (who overcame a last-place finish in the National League East in '92), in 2001 with the Diamondbacks (who became the youngest expansion team to win a title) and in 2004 with the Red Sox (who overcame a 0-3 deficit against the New York Yankees). He also went on to win World Series titles with two of them: the 2001 Diamondbacks and the 2004 Red Sox.
In November 2003, the Diamondbacks traded Schilling to the Boston Red Sox. Schilling immediately played up his role as a Yankee killer from the 2001 World Series, vowing he would thwart them again. He appeared at a Boston Bruins playoff game in April 2004 wearing a stylized "Yankee Hater" hat. On September 16, Schilling won his twentieth game of the season for the Red Sox, becoming the fifth Boston pitcher to win 20 or more games in his first season with the team, and the first since Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in 1978. Schilling would go on to another win, ending his regular season with a 21-6 record. On October 19, 2004 Schilling won Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. Notably, he won this game playing on an injured ankle - the same injuries that contributed to his disastrous outing in Game 1 of the ALCS. These injuries were so acute that by the end of his performance that day his white sock was soaked with blood.
The win forced a Game 7, making the Red Sox the first team in post-season Major League Baseball history to come back from a three-games-to-none deficit. The Red Sox would go on to win Game 7 and the ALCS and make their first World Series appearance since 1986. He pitched (and won) Game 2 of the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals. In both series, he had to have the tendon in his right ankle stabilized repeatedly, in what has become known as the Schilling Tendon Procedure, after the tendon sheath was torn during his Game 1 ALDS appearance against the Anaheim Angels. As in game 6 of the ALCS, Schilling's sock was soaked with blood from the sutures used in this medical procedure, but he still managed to pitch seven strong innings, giving up one run on four hits, whilst striking out four. This second "bloody" sock was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame after Boston's victory over St. Louis in the World Series. A 4-game sweep of the World Series gave Boston its first World Series championship since 1918. Schilling was once again runner-up in Cy Young voting in 2004, this time to Minnesota Twins hurler Johan Santana, who received all 28 first-place votes. Schilling received 27 of the 28 second-place votes. Later, the entire Red Sox team was named Sports Illustrated's 2004 Sportsmen of the Year, making Schilling only the second person to have won or shared that award twice. Schilling's ankle injury had an immense effect on his pitching performance in 2005. He began the year on the disabled list, and even when he returned, he simply wasn't the Curt Schilling everyone knew. His velocity was down, his control was off, and his signature splitter pitch didn't have much bite to it. After being placed on the disabled list again, he returned in July as Boston's closer. The idea was that Schilling would work out of the bullpen until gaining enough strength to rejoin the starting rotation. However, this experiment, for the most part, was unsuccessful. Schilling did earn some saves, but was mostly ineffective. He eventually returned to the starting rotation and continued to struggle. However, he did have an excellent start against the Yankees in a September game, which was easily the highlight of his season. The Red Sox made it to the playoffs, but were swept by the Chicago White Sox in three games. Schilling was set to start the fourth game, but never got the chance.
For the 2006 season, Schilling was said to be healthy, and apparently his ankle is no longer an issue. A 4-0 record with a miniscule 1.61 ERA silenced a number of critics who speculated that he was nearing the end of his career. He finished the year with a 15-7 record and 198 strikeouts, with a respectable 3.97 ERA. The 2006 season was also a season of milestones for Curt Schilling. On May 27, he earned his 200th career win, the 104th major league pitcher to accomplish the feat. The Red Sox beat Tampa Bay, 6-4. On July 9, Schilling made his 400th career start in his major league career versus the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
On August 30, Schilling collected his 3,000th strikeout against Nick Swisher of the Oakland Athletics. He is only the third pitcher to reach the 3,000-K milestone before reaching 1,000 career walks. The other two who accomplished this feat are Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux. Schilling has said that he wants to retire at the conclusion of the 2007 season.

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