Remember Curt Schilling, if you will, for his 216 career wins or 3,116 strikeouts or his three World Series rings. But, always, he should be remember for the 1,987 words he wrote on Sunday about his daughters, every last one of which was blazing heat right down the center of the plate.
Last week, Schilling tweeted with a father's exuberance that his daughter had been accepted to college. There were dozens upon dozens of tweets from fans, sharing in his emotion and congratulating the former six-time All-Star. But those positive notes were overshadowed by responses that were rude, lewd and completely unacceptable. So Schilling took to his blog to respond, outing several of the tweeters, including one employed by the New York Yankees.
One tweet even mentioned raping Schilling's daughter, who is 17-years-old and a senior in high school.
In a deep and passionate response, a riveting piece of prose that was short on much acumen but was right in every one of its words, Schilling nailed it. What he wrote was the right thing with the right heart, a man who is showing to be an ace on the mound as well as in fatherhood.
“The ignorance and pathetic lack of morals or of any integrity is astounding,” Schilling wrote midway through his blog. “These aren’t thugs, tough guys or bad asses, these aren’t kids who’ve had it rough, they aren’t homeless or orphans, these are pretty much ALL white, affluent, college attending children, and I mean children.
“A mistake is tweeting once and saying “damn, I’m an idiot” and taking it down. These guys? They’re making conscious choices to cyberbully an amazing and beautiful young woman on the internet, that none of them know by the way, because they don’t like her dad or they somehow think saying words you can teach a 5-year-old is tough?”
He defended the dignity of his daughter, a young woman who has worked hard for a chance to play a sport in college. And even if she wasn't the daughter of a baseball legend or a public figure, no father should have to read the innermost thoughts of deranged young men who have a warped view of not just society, but women in general.
The young woman that they mocked and crudely degraded instead is worthy of our respect. She didn't rest on her famous last name, on the wealth of a man whose career has spanned now four decades as a player and in television as well as a small business owner. It would have been easy for her to rest on those laurels and coast through life with relative ease.
Instead as her father notes, she has trained for nearly 10 years for the chance to be a student-athlete and there is no doubt, based off the maturity of how she's handled this situation, that she will be a testament to her college.
There was no doubt that Schilling was ever anything but a winner in the game of baseball, but now he has saved his best and gutsiest effort for the family he loves. His last bit of heroics here will forever be Schilling's greatest gem.