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Notable members from the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox were invited to throw out the first pitch for Game 2 of the 2018 World Series, including franchise icons Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, first baseman Kevin Millar, knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield, former captain and catcher Jason Varitek, former closer and relief pitcher Keith Foulke and reliever Alan Embree. Notably absent from the group?—Curt Schilling, one of the best players from the curse-breaking team who famously pitched on a torn tendon in his right ankle in the “bloody sock” game in the '04 ALCS against the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium.
So why was Schilling, the runner-up for the Cy Young award in Boston's championship season, not invited to the ceremony? Look no further than the former pitcher's outspoken political beliefs, which are right-leaning. Red Sox owner John Henry, who also owns the left-geared Boston Globe, is a staunch Democrat. Henry's political views couldn't be farther apart from Schilling, who hosts a morning radio show for the right-wing Breitbart News.
Despite Schilling living 17 miles away from Fenway Park, the Red Sox chose not to include the former ace in the festivities. Red Sox executives admit they did not contact him.
Schilling, who first won a championship with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 before eventually signing with the Red Sox and capturing two more titles in 2004 and 2007, confirmed the team did not invite him.
Not including Schilling in the ceremony is a bad look for the Red Sox, with the fault lying directly on Henry's shoulders. This was a move out of spite by Henry and the team, regardless of what they claim. Schilling was essential to breaking the franchise's 86-year title drought and there's no excuse for him not being able to toss out the first pitch with his former teammates.
Grant Schilling, the son of the legendary pitcher and self-proclaimed liberal, tweeted his disdain for the mistreatment of his father.
Shilling's wife, Shonda, also chimed in on Twitter, mocking the Red Sox for flying in members of the '04 championship team, but not inviting her husband.
Henry and his franchise owe Red Sox fans an explanation. But good luck getting an honest response from someone who allowed political differences to soil a moment which was supposed to honor the most beloved team in the city's history.