Curt Schilling vs Andy Pettitte
I happened to hear a debate on WEEI regarding Andy Pettitte's chance for the Baseball Hall of Fame vs Curt Schilling's chances. One major thing they overlooked while I was listening was the fact that Curt Schilling has over 3,000 strikeouts for his career.
Now I don't happen to think that Andy Pettitte is a Hall of Fame player but I do think Schilling is just over the threshold. I think it is his 3,116 strikeouts that put Schilling over the top (Pettitte had just 2,251).
There have been just 16 players in baseball history with more than 3,000 strikeouts. Of that number 10 are already in the Hall of Fame. The other players have names like Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Curt Schilling. That group pretty much says it all. I know that as the strikeout lost its stigma to batters that it became easier for pitchers to get a K but also consider that this change in attitude also coincided with a move to a five-man rotation.
Think of it this way - there have been 27 players with 3,000 hits in baseball history making 3,000 strikeouts the more rare feat. For another comparison - players like Marquis Grissom and Jose Cruz finished with 2,251 hits (the number of K's Pettitte had). Now Cruz and Grissom were good players but I don't think anyone would argue they were Hall of Fame players.