Tonight, Curt Schilling will likely cement what I believe are his considerable qualificiations for the Hall of Fame. When he strikes out his first batter of the evening (and he has yet to strike out fewer than two batters in a game this season), he will become the 14th player to reach 3,000 Ks. Of the 13 who have previously done it, nine are in the Hall of Fame. Bert Blyleven should be. Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux will be.
“I don’t know where I’ll fall on that scale, as far as how many walks people had when they got to 3,000, but I hope up I’m up there in that," Schilling told the Globe in today’s editions. Schilling has just 683 walks entering tonight’s game, a fact he said he’s proud of.
It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out whether Schilling indeed will have the fewest walks among 3,000-K pitchers.
First, Curt Schilling is second all-time in K/BB ratio, with 4.29 strikeouts for every walk, one-hundredth of a strikeout ahead of Pedro Martinez. Ninetheenth-century pitcher Tommy Bond (879 strikeouts, 4.4 K/BB) is first. So it’s pretty likely that Schilling will have the fewest walks of any pitcher when he reaches his 3,000th, but let’s make sure..
The next closest 3,000-strikeout pitcher on the K/BB list is Greg Maddux (12th all-time), who finished his 2005 season with 3,052 strikeouts — but 907 walks. Randy Johnson is 19th, reaching 3,000 strikeouts in 2000. But he reached 683 walks (Schilling’s current total) in 1994. Fergie Jenkins had about 900 walks when he hit No. 3,000. Roger Clemens struck out his 3,000th batter in the 1998 season, and walked his 1,000th that same year.
Even Pedro, who entered the season ahead of Schilling in K/BB ratio, has 697 walks with 14 strikeouts left to go before No. 3,000.
So it’s pretty safe to say that Curt Schilling will make baseball history tonight. He will become the only pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters while allowing fewer than 700 walks.