Far better writers than me like my friend Cyn at Toeing the Rubber , Red at Surviving Grady, and your average 3rd grader have said it better, but I couldn't let the Era of Schill end in Boston without chiming in with my usual blathering combined no factual evidence to back it up.
I'm one of the few people I know who actually like Schilling for more than his baseball skill set; whether I agreed or disagreed with him, it was always sort of refreshing in the era of A-Rod's and Jeters that a guy on such a big stage would just speak his mind to a guy with a microphone like you or I only would if we were alone in the back yard chopping wood. From politics to his opinion on steroids to whether he thought Dunkin Donuts was better than Krispy Kreme, Curt had an opinion and wasn't afraid to share it.
Throw all that in with his ability on the mound, his sheer will to win, and the way he shined in the post season (Career 11-2 post season record with a winning percentage of .846 ranks him #1 in MLB history. Yes, HISTORY. Choke on it, Rocket.) the guy was a breath of fresh air in a business comprised of cliches and egomaniacs.
Don't get me wrong; to say that nothing would make you happier than shutting up 50,000 people in Yankee Stadium requires a bit of an ego. And I've never seen an athlete who loved the sound of his own voice any more than Schilling. There is, however, a big difference in Schilling talking and most other athletes; he brought it, every single time.
If I'm John Henry, there is a statue of the picture I used in tonights post going up right next to the one of Teddy Ballgame outside Fenway Park. He came to Boston barking about coming to help win a championship, and by God if he didn't do just that.
There's an old saying that I'm not sure who came up with, but "Nature Boy" Ric Flair is the first person I remember saying it, so he gets the credit.
"It ain't bragging if you can back it up."
For 20 years he did just that.