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20 random things from our baseball life…

February 26, 2009

1) I almost signed out of high school as a 3rd basemen. I ‘luckily’ had my arm broken by a ‘friend’ after being HBP. I ended up at Yavapai JC for 1 year instead.

2) Shonda and I have moved over 40 times, I have moved over 50, since my career started.

3) The 1 year I spent at Yavapai JC was one of my top 5 teams of all time. Definitely one of the funnest years of my life.

4) My top teammates (not all inclusive) list would start with a few names: Doug Mirabelli, Craig Counsell, Gabe Kapler, David West, Kevin Jordan, Pete Harnish, Bob Milacki, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson, Todd Pratt, Jason Varitek, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Bill Mueller, Dustin Pedroia, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Caminiti, Greg Swindell, Dan Plesac, Brandon Webb, Todd Stottlemyre, Greg Colbrunn, Tony Womack, Mickey Morandini, Lenny Dykstra, Dave Hollins. Many more but that’s where it would start

5) Most incredible win I’ve ever been a part of? Elimination game to go to the JC World Series. Brian Deak hit a 2 run HR with 2 outs, bottom of the ninth, down 1 vs. Pima CC.

Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS-Knowing that game was over from about the 3rd inning on and that I was part of a team that had done something that no other team in baseball history had accomplished

Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. From World Series Goat to World Champion in about 3 minutes…

6) Most heart wrenching loss? PV East LL Championship game to go to LL World Series. 2 outs, bottom of the 7th, up 1, bases loaded. Ground ball to me, throw home for first out, throw to first is overthrown when runner slides into Mike Niles, our catcher, ball sails into Right Field and Dan Hale, the opposing pitcher, scores all the way from first to eliminate us…

Losing 5-4 to the Mets, in 1998 I think, after entering the 9th with a 4 hit shutout. I gave up ALL 5 RUNS in the bottom of the night to lose the game. Jon Olerud came up with 2 outs, bases loaded, Lieberthal comes out, asks me what I want to throw, I reply “I have nothing to make him swing and miss, so I don’t care, I’ll throw what you put down”, a fast ball away later, game over. First pitcher in like 50 years to blow that sort of lead on my own… So proud!

Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. Just couldn’t believe BK could have that happen 2 nights in a row.

7) Most dominating offensive player I ever played with? Manny Ramirez, not even a close second

8) Most dominating offensive Season I ever watched in person? Either Luis Gonzales in 2001 or David in 2004. Luis’ April was the most dominating month I have ever seen. David had a year that will be hard to match as far as clutch goes.

9) Most dominating pitcher and season? Same guy. RJ in 2001 and 2002 outlined HOF to me. Every 5th day I was on the edge of my seat not able to comprehend what I might see. His 20k night was incredible, made more incredible by him getting a No-Decision. Made worse by the fact I had to go out and try and top whatever he did the next day.

9a) Most dominating post season by a pitcher? Keith Foulke in 2004. I still think it’s the most underrated performance in history. He was the MVP of every single series in our minds, hands down. Took the ball every night and did it as well as humanly possible.

10) Best “Team” I ever played on? 1993 Phillies or the 2004 Sox. Both teams came to the park and knew we were going to win. The 93 team had more swagger than any team I was ever part of. The 04 team took on an “Us against the world” mentality and honestly used it for the entire season.

11) Hitters I hated to face: Mark Lemke, Delino Deshields, Lance Berkman, Todd Helton

12) Hitters I didn’t mind seeing at the plate: Andres Galaragga, Todd Hollandsworth, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Gonzo, Sosa, McGwire, Bonds

13) Players I want my sons to emulate: Scott Rolen, Jason Varitek, Bill Mueller, Craig Counsell, David Eckstein

14) Favorite Coaches: Brian Butterfield (all time favorite) Johnny Podres, Robin Yount, Jim Presley, Dale Sveum, Terry Francona, Dave Wallace, Mark Connor, Bob Welch, John Vuckovich (my 2nd dad), Art Howe, Bob Cluck, Demarlo Hale, Dave Magadan, Bob Melvin, Chuck Cottier, Dave Dangler, Mike McQuaid, Walt Mcconnell, Dick Bosman, Bill Lemoncelli, Dick Beradino. There’s more but all I can name right now (And HOLY CRAP! I left off one that would no doubt be in my all time top 5, hands down! John Farrell!! Sorry Shre…. Err John!)….

15) I started carrying a laptop in the early 90s, before it was ‘in’, and got no shortage of stares from Macho Row.

16) I left for the ballpark exactly 6 hours before the first pitch of any game I pitched. I started pre-game warm ups/stretching exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes before the first pitch. Dugout 55 minutes before. Bullpen 38 minutes before. Sprints 25 minutes before and first toss at 20 minutes before every game I started the past 15 years.

17) I have never been more focused or locked in than the 2001 post season.

18) The Cards/Dbacks NLDS is, imo, one of the most overlooked and underrated post season series ever.

19) After 216 wins, 11 more in October, the game I for some reason am most proud of is the 2007 start in Oakland. After all the hub-bub over losing the no-no with 2 outs in the ninth I didn’t care. I’d started a game on the heels of a 4 game losing streak, and thrown a shut out. That was far more important to me than anything. I think it had to do with how hard that entire year was, how hard each start was to just get to the mound.

20) My most memorable inning? Two really. 1) The ninth inning of game 1 of the NLDS, having to get three outs in game 1 to win 1-0. Watching Edmonds ground out to Gracie and squeezing the life out of him. 2) Bottom of the 5th inning, I think it was 1997. Facing Kevin Brown in Philadelphia. My first ‘tie my shoes’ moment. I walked the bases loaded on about 11 strikes thanks to Gary Darling going temporarily blind. I stepped off the mound and bent over to tie my shoes. I said to myself “Self, you have two options, throw in the towel and piss this one away (because Brown was just filthy that year) or nut up, focus and empty the tank right here, right now.” I went 3-0 on the next three hitters, K’d Hundley, K’d Hollandsworth and Beltre grounded out to end the inning. We scored 6 in the top of the next inning to rout them. I started using ‘tie my shoe’ moments from that day on to compose myself.

48 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2009 3:49 pm

    Great stuff! Thanks!

    By the way, that 5-4 loss to the Mets was May 23, 1999. Hitting Edgardo Alfonso to load the bases for Olerud must have sucked. I know the Phils didn’t have a light-out guy to close games that year, but do you remember if Francona came out to the mound to discuss bringing in Gomes?

    Hitting Alfonso 0-2!!! was the crusher. The 2nd hitter that inning I hit 0-2 if I remember right

  2. Rhayader permalink
    February 26, 2009 3:58 pm

    Awesome post Curt, thanks for sharing this with us. So many cool things I won’t even say which ones I liked reading the most. This kind of insight is so much fun to read.

  3. February 26, 2009 4:27 pm

    Way to work in the sunglasses emoticon, Curt.

  4. Scott permalink
    February 26, 2009 5:48 pm

    Great post Curt!

  5. Ozzie permalink
    February 26, 2009 6:57 pm

    This one was definitly insightful…Thanks for the post.

    I like the Laptop reference as I have read many times how you are ledgendary with your program (i.e. Hitter Tendencies, Pitching Tendencies, video work).

  6. Richie D permalink
    February 26, 2009 7:22 pm

    “Awesome post Curt, thanks for sharing this with us. So many cool things I won’t even say which ones I liked reading the most. This kind of insight is so much fun to read”

    I second that!!!!
    But 40 moves?????………I’d be ready for a rubber room by #3

  7. Tony Z. permalink
    February 26, 2009 7:32 pm

    Curt…awesome post! I love reading all of your war stories and such. Keep it coming! Any plans on playing this season? Huge Phils Phan here in Dover, DE. Would love to see you play again…no matter the team. I’ve watched you for your whole career and really admired what you brought to the park every 5th day! You’re the man! Thanks…Tony Z.

  8. Andrea Trachtenberg permalink
    February 26, 2009 7:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Curt – it was great to read.

    To be one of the names on the list of players you’d want your sons to emulate sure couldn’t be a higher compliment. To tell you the truth, it would be a honor to have my wonderful son emulate you.

  9. DeniseSoxFan permalink
    February 26, 2009 8:03 pm

    Hey Curt! Thanks for sharing. This was awesome!
    Denise

  10. tonyg permalink
    February 26, 2009 8:55 pm

    Our?

  11. Babe Ruth permalink
    February 26, 2009 9:18 pm

    How about that time you stepped on a ketchup packet while you were in your socks in the trainers room?

  12. February 26, 2009 10:28 pm

    I hope you stay near Baseball and the fans for a long time to come. You just have too much to share to disappear anytime soon.

    One more thing…

    I am calling on Red Sox Nation to help me to defeat Yankee Fans.
    Details here: http://buzzcal.com/blog/?p=308

    Much Appreciated!!!

  13. mike permalink
    February 27, 2009 12:46 am

    Curts a loser, Screw this post. Quit baseball

  14. February 27, 2009 6:55 am

    Curt

    Having seen the game where Ryan took the ball to the face and he pitched on with the blood and all….I think the bloody sock game was the gustiest thing I have ever seen…Thanks for the memories Zman sends

  15. Moe permalink
    February 27, 2009 8:36 am

    I hope you can find the time to write a book about your career.

  16. Jeff permalink
    February 27, 2009 8:49 am

    Mike,

    Why be so rude? What other athlete lays it on the line like Curt? It is refreshing that Curt doesn’t speak with a bunch of cliches.

  17. Joe permalink
    February 27, 2009 9:27 am

    I used to go see a lot of your starts in the mid-late 90’s at the Vet. You were one of the few bright spots on that team. Still though a bunch of great guys. Those two 300k seasons were awesome. You just don’t see that anymore. I remember your first start after the all star game in 99, the first batter I was like “ohh no he’s hurt”. Also going to a night game in 98 or 99, you faced the Rockies and Brian Bohanon and threw a CG. You struck out the side in the 9th I believe with 98mph fastballs. I bet your Boston fan’s didn’t know you threw that hard. Do you still talk to any of those guy’s? I played in college for one of your old teammates, he had some funny stories. I wonder if Darren Daulton still thinks the worlds gonna end in 2012, and if he could travel in time would he go back to the days when him and Lenny Dykstra used to charter flights to AC after games haha.

  18. Rhayader permalink
    February 27, 2009 10:11 am

    I hope you feel better about yourself, mike. You should quit life.

  19. Chris permalink
    February 27, 2009 10:16 am

    The one that stuck out to me was the hitter you feared and didn’t fear. It would be interesting to see you elaborate on this sometime. I never would have guessed some of the guys you didn’t like facing, and at the same time some of the most jacked up power hitters were not a problem. Nice post, Curt.

  20. Steeltown permalink
    February 27, 2009 10:58 am

    Curt,

    How about Umpires over the years you thought favored hitter? Pitchers?

    –Steeltown

  21. Dori permalink
    February 27, 2009 1:19 pm

    The least surprising thing you have ever written is the list of your fave teammates…not shocked at all to see Gabe Kapler, Doug Mirabelli, TEK, and Bill Mueller. …. Four of my all time favorite Red Sox players for good reason. Its nice to see that a teammate would feel the same. And as Much as I am looking forward to yelling “Rocco” at Fenway this year…I would love to have had Gabe back in our laundry. And Bill Mueller, a career that ended much too soon. And, TEK…thank God they signed him.

  22. Dave permalink
    February 27, 2009 1:28 pm

    Lots of Red Sox on the emulation list, that’s says alot. I’ve always heard that Mirabelli wasn’t the best teammate so I’m surprised at that one

  23. February 27, 2009 2:39 pm

    Excellent post!

  24. Ernie permalink
    February 27, 2009 4:12 pm

    Are #’s 11 and 12 mixed up. Or is it just one of those situations where lesser known guys just had your number, whereas the superstars didnt give you much of a problem.

  25. bilbo baggins permalink
    February 27, 2009 5:09 pm

    Doug Glanville’s not on the list? I thought you guys played video games together…
    He writes some good essays for the NY Times now.

  26. RachelC permalink
    February 27, 2009 5:48 pm

    Doug Mirabelli! Thanks for mentioning him.

    Boston misses him. What a guy, and a teammate.

  27. BIz permalink
    February 27, 2009 11:39 pm

    I’m thinking John Farrell might be a little disappointed to not see his name on your list of favorite coaches…

  28. February 28, 2009 5:24 pm

    I liked seeing Mark Lemke on there!

    I was in 5th grade in 1991 and living in Atlanta. I always wanted to play second base, so Mark Lemke naturally became my favorite player!

    There are also a lot of names on your #4 I’m glad to see. A lot of them are players I’ve admired on the field, and to see someone that I also admire off the field like you consider them “top” team mates speaks very well for them off the field as well.

  29. rundugrun permalink
    February 28, 2009 9:22 pm

    Good post Curt. You are a good man as well as a great pitcher. My only question:

    Do you really want your son to emulate Jason Varitek? I’d think that Jason’s busy off-field action last year wouldn’t be something worth emulating…

  30. February 28, 2009 10:20 pm

    Good stuff.

    Hey, totally off-topic, but were you guys at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World today? I was there, with my favorite hat that has your name and number on it, and found out from a fellow Sox fan that my mom was talking to that you had been in the park. Just curious. I live a long ways from Boston, but my dad grew up near Fenway, so I’m a lifetime fan despite the distance. And you’ve been my favorite player since ’04.

    – 15-year-old Red Sox fan from Louisiana. 🙂

  31. February 28, 2009 11:53 pm

    Curt,

    What a wonderful and enlightening post. Thanks for sharing.

    I heard your debut recently on the “The Big O Show” on WEEI. Best moment: Frank from Gloucester’s call!

  32. Jared Boone permalink
    March 1, 2009 12:59 pm

    COME BACK TO THE SOX…….WE LOVE U !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. March 1, 2009 1:03 pm

    thanks for the insight, that’s a lot of moves for anyone, where do you think you will settle down and live once you retire?

  34. joew permalink
    March 1, 2009 1:49 pm

    you talk too much.

  35. seth coop permalink
    March 1, 2009 2:47 pm

    curt…..PLEASE GO AWAY!!
    TURN THE PAGE…. you are a washed up former has been……it is time.

    do you plan on screwing over another team this year? did you feel guilt when you cashed your checks from last season?

    …… move on chubby!

  36. Rich permalink
    March 1, 2009 5:41 pm

    Seth coop is a good example of an unappreciative jerk. You’re mad because he was hurt last year.Really? The Red Sox won 2 WS with him. Now stop being a whiny baby that so many Red Sox fans have become.

  37. dontcometothecubs permalink
    March 2, 2009 1:04 am

    You didn’t mind facing Bonds when he had a career OPS against you of over 1000?

    he also had the most hr’s of anyone against you (followed by sosa, who you also didn’t mind facing)

    guess you like dudes taking you deep

  38. March 2, 2009 3:39 am

    Loved the post, Curt. A great read, all through, and a lot of fun to get these perspectives.

    Seth coop: if you don’t want to read the blog, don’t click on it. But come on, do you really think Curt went and got himself more painful shoulder problems and another surgery just to spite Boston? Talk about an elaborate scam… I’ll guarentee you he’d have enjoyed pitching more than rehabbing. It just didn’t work out that way.

    Rundugrun, I’m guessing Curt based his choices of role models for his son on personal knowledge of these men’s character. Not on rumors he happened to read on-line.

  39. March 2, 2009 1:30 pm

    Great stuff Curt, whether you hang it up, or keep going thanks for great times in Boston!

  40. Jim permalink
    March 2, 2009 4:19 pm

    Great post Curt, a comment that I have on it though is “hero to goat in about three minutes”…that was the best baseball game I have ever seen, and I certainly would say that you weren’t a goat, that pitch to Soriano was placed in a great sport, Soriano somehow managed to basically hit it off the ground for a homer. You and Randy were warriors in that postseason, and thats something ill never forget.

  41. March 2, 2009 11:43 pm

    Fantastic post Curt, but gee, you called Tito a favorite “coach?” I dunno, but I’m pretty sure he hates that term, rather than “manager.” I’m kidding with you, of course.

    BTW, I would love to see you back with the Red Sox again. Even if it were only for a few months, there is no better pitcher in October than Curt Schilling. May God Bless you and your family.

  42. March 3, 2009 8:56 am

    I have to agree with #18, The Cards/Dbacks NLDS…Since the Cards won it all in 2006, most people in St. Louis have forgotten about that series. I would love to have that complete series on video.

  43. March 3, 2009 4:57 pm

    Curt it was nice to see you at johnny podres funeral Johnny always spoke highly of you, we miss him tremendously up here in upstate ny.Hope to see you on the field in 2009.

  44. Jeff Mills permalink
    March 6, 2009 11:57 pm

    Curt,

    Here’s something I remember from the 1997 All-Star Game in Cleveland. Around that time there were rumors that you might be going to the Indians. When you were introduced the crowd there went wild and I remember you having this almost embarrassed smile on your face, but you seemed somewhat surprised yet honored at the same time. Had you went to the Tribe that year they would have beaten the Marlins. Ah well, things work out for a reason.

  45. bake permalink
    March 15, 2009 2:44 pm

    I can attest to the lap top. I never fully understood until later why you were always reading Baseball America on the bus and talking about/researching guys from other teams. I was solely focused on only what I could do. Now I see you were finding out who was hot at the plate which helped you get your game plan. There are more ways than one to skin a cat but your style certainly worked for you. wish I had done more of that! bake

  46. Becky permalink
    March 17, 2009 7:27 pm

    Fantastic post, Curt! I particularly love #4 and #13 – they are true compliments to the men you mentioned. I am sure that Billy would be (is?) truly honored and touched by your inclusion of him…

    Thank you! 🙂
    Becky Warren

  47. Russ H permalink
    March 19, 2009 5:37 pm

    Curt, I am a bit surprised to see a couple of known steroid users on your list of favorite teammates. I love the list otherwise. Also as a first time post, a heartfelt thank you. It was because of you (in large part) that we found success in 2004 and continue to enjoy it since.

  48. Slash permalink
    March 29, 2009 11:21 am

    I wonder how many players would put Schill on their “top teammates” list? Probably not many.

    From the website Can’t Stop the Bleeding:

    Larry Andersen, now a radio voice, was the weary reliever who set up closer Mitch Williams that fatal Game 6 in Toronto, Schilling with the towel covering his head and face, Joe Carter up with one out, two runners on, the Phils clinging to a 6-5 lead. A lot of people on that bench have never fully forgiven Schilling for the way he showed up his teammate with the baseball world watching. And it didn’t matter that Williams wound up serving the most dramatic World Series walkoff homer since Bill Mazeroski in 1960….

    Andersen rolled his eyes when I asked his reaction to Schilling’s cyberspace announcement that his 20-year career is over. “I was taught that if you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all,” he said. Then LA laughed mirthlessly. “It would probably make CNN.”

    As luck would have it, the showers that came gusting off Tampa Bay and doused another Bright House Field sellout forced Darren Daulton to land the mothership in the parking lot. He was holding court in the Hooters box with the usual gaggle of pals and fans who surround him here during the Countdown to Dec. 21, 2012, last day of the Mayan calendar. When that page is turned, he says, all humankind will continue to exist, but in a different form.

    Dutch pointed to Andersen. “I’m with him,” he said.

    Boy that stings. Two guys who’ve been married a combined 5 times, in jail that many, and were close friends with Mitch Williams, sure hurts that men of such ‘character’ and ‘integrity’ would look down on me as a teammate. I’m still married to the women I exchanged vows with 19 years ago, last I checked no DUI’s, no DWI’s, no domestic violence charges that I know of either. Damn, I wasn’t ‘one of the boys’ when being one of the boys was supposed to be cool. I can think of a lot worse lot in life than that. Oh wait, I talked a lot and was opinionated, damn me to hell….. But I am and will be close friends with men like Gabe Kapler, Jason Varitek, Doug Mirabelli, Kevin Jordan, Mickey Morandini, Bill Mueller, Craig Counsell, Greg Swindell, Dan Plesac..etc. etc. I can sleep pretty soundly on that.< Oh and one more thing, I didn't have a towel on my head when Joe Carter hit his HR, I hadn't done it for a few games at that point. When I was made aware of what I was doing, and how infantile and stupid it looked, I apologized to Mitch and everyone else.

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Curt Schilling's Official Blog

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