Schilling has 'some interest' in Senate seat
As of right now, former pitcher says he's probably not running
ST. PETERSBURG -- Former right-hander Curt Schilling -- who has always had an interest in politics -- confirmed Wednesday that he has been contacted about running for the seat vacated by late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died last week after a prolonged bout with brain cancer.
While acknowledging how busy he is in his post-playing career, Schilling did not rule out the possibility of making a run at the Senate.
Schilling retired from baseball in March and currently runs an online game-development company called 38 Studios.
"While my family is obviously the priority, and 38 Studios is a priority, I do have some interest in the possibility," Schilling wrote on his blog at 38pitches.weei.com. "That being said, to get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation.
"My hope is that whatever happens, and whomever it happens to, this state makes the decision and chooses the best person, regardless of sex, race, religion or political affiliation, to help get this state back to the place it deserves to be."
Schilling campaigned for George W. Bush in 2004 and Sen. John McCain in the most recent presidential election.
This wouldn't be the first time an athlete has run for political office. Hall of Famer Jim Bunning is currently serving his second term as a Republican US senator from Kentucky. Former basketball star Bill Bradley was a senator in New Jersey for three terms. Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura served as the Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.
During Schilling's baseball career, he won 216 games and notched 3,116 strikeouts. He spent his last four seasons pitching for the Red Sox, helping the team win two World Series championships.
"I don't think he'd want me as his campaign manager," quipped Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I've been around Schill probably more than anybody. He's very dear to me. I guess whatever he [does], I want him to be happy, just like anybody. I'd love to be out in the crowd when he's making his speech."
"If he runs, good luck and have fun," said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "I don't think I would want that job."
In a phone interview with New England Cable News, Schilling said that he has his plate full and would have to re-arrange his priorities to make a run at the Senate a priority.
"I don't know," Schilling told NECN. "Right now I'm working on 38 Studios and working on the funding and that's going well and doing all the things that go with that. I've got a lot on my plate. So as of today, probably not. I don't know. Going forward, that's a pretty big deal from a commitment standpoint not just for someone like me, but for my family. Right now, I'm not even going to speculate on it."
But Schilling confirmed he had been contacted.
"I have been contacted, yes. I've been contacted," Schilling said. "I'm not going to get into those discussions. I've been contacted by people whose opinion I give credence to and I listen to and I listened. But this is not a decision that I would make. This is a decision that [wife] Shonda and I would make. She's given her entire life and the first 14 years of my children's lives to baseball and rightfully so. This company, 38 studios, has taken a lot of time and energy. If I could divert time and energy away from that, then there's a possibility I might think about it, I don't know."
Schilling has always supported the Republican Party. Kennedy -- part of a legendary political family -- was a Democrat. Schilling doesn't think that the political party should be a big issue when it comes to who fills the seat.
"My hope is that we're past that," Schilling told NECN. "That we're past the whole R and D thing. My fear is that we aren't. My hope is that we understand now more than ever that we're in a place where we need to put good people, above all else. People without ties to special interests, people with integrity and ethics and country first values in office regardless of the letter that precedes their name."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.