Some days you just can’t get away from certain people. Today seems to be a “twofer” on John Kerry.
Last week, a Boston talk show started discussing possible rivals to run against John Kerry in 2008. The consensus seemed to be that the only way to oust him would be for a Democratic challenger, because Republicans in Massachusetts… well, the ones you can find are all right, but they’re getting scarcer than war-supporting Democrats. But one name came to the forefront, and I have to say that I think he’d make a pretty good candidate.
Yeah, the guy who has zero interest in sports finds himself interested in a professional athlete as a potential politician. But hear me out. Schilling has a hell of a lot more going for him than his curveball.
Schilling won the adoration of a lot of New Englanders during the 2004 post season. He tore a ligament in his ankle, but kept playing. His bloody red sock (he tore open the stitches first in the pennant race, then in the World Series) ended up in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, and he helped the Red Sox break an 87-year “curse” and win the championship. Two images became icons of that series that no Red Sox can ever forget: Schilling’s blood-soaked sock, and his embrace of Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky after they won the final game.
OK, he’s a hell of a good athlete and a good sport, but what does that mean? How does that make him fit to be a United States senator?
That’s why you have to look off the field.
Schilling is a hell of a generous man, both publicly and privately. He has his charity, “Curt’s Pitch For ALS,” which raises money to fight ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In fact, after he injured his ankle in 2004, he knew that the cameras would be focusing on his right foot and ankle, so he wrote “K ALS” on the shoe to plug the cause.
Also, he tried to quietly sponsor a family of Katrina victims, a couple and their NINE children, putting them up in a Boston hotel, but word got out that he was the “anonymous donor.”
And after being called to testify before the Senate on the use of steroids in baseball, Schilling took his signed subpoena and put it up for auction, with the proceeds going to Curt’s Pitch For ALS.
OK, toss in that he’s generous and charitable. Big whoop. What else does he have?
Well, he’s hugely popular with gamers. He’s a self-confessed addict to Advanced Squad Leader, and actually organized a tournament when the “official” one conflicted with baseball season. He’s also played online as a fundraiser for Curt’s Pitch, invited players to attend Red Sox games, and has actually started his own game company — Green Monster Games, named after the infamous left field wall of Fenway Park.
OK, he’s got some business acumen. What’s he like politically?
In 2004, he campaigned for President Bush. He’s also a devout born-again Christian, but not the overly preachy type. (I strongly suspect that would not go over too well in the dugout.)
Schilling has announced that this season will be his last. So by the end of October, he’ll have plenty of free time on his hands.
And let’s not forget his wife, Shonda. She survived a bout with skin cancer, and made that her crusade. The couple set up the SHADE Foundation after the self-confessed “sun worshipper” had her scare.
So, will Schilling run against Kerry? Could he win?
All I know is that the people of Massachusetts could do worse.
And if you look at the two senators they have represnting them now, they have done worse — a lot worse. Pretty much ANYONE would be an improvement over Kennedy and Kerry.