Curt Schilling never had to shut up because he always put up.
The guy played four years in Boston and helped win two World Series. Ted? Yaz? They went O-for-forever.
Read his retirement post on his blog. Then peruse some of the comments. There are a lot of haters. A lot of people…fans, sportswriters, teammates…just wanted him to put a sock in it. But he’ll be remembered for a sock that symbolized his talent, toughness and tenacity.
It seems athletes who talk and say nothing are the “good guys.” I enjoy Dustin Pedroia, but the next interesting thing I hear him say will be the first. Ditto Tom Brady. They have no obligation whatsoever to give any more than their best on the field. But long ago, I decided I would rather root for guys like them than cover them.
Even longer ago, I had decided I would like to cover them. Bill Russell taught me more about dignity and civil rights than he did basketball in his 1966 autobiography “Go Up For Glory.” Jim Bouton humanized the major league baseball player for me in his 1970 classic “Ball Four.”
I met many good and some interesting people on the sports beat. But for every Russell and Bouton, there were too many Pedroia and Brady types. Nice enough guys who said nothing.
Curt Schilling said and wrote what was on his mind, and so many dismissed him as a windbag, a loudmouth who didn’t know his place.
Had there been more Curt Schillings, I might still be a sports reporter. He made it infinitely more interesting.