My feelings on Curt Schilling have changed almost by the year:
- 1993: love
- 1999: respect
- 2000: hate
- 2002-2007: loathing
- 2012: toleration
Clearly I have some issues. But regardless of how I have felt about him, throughout his career, Schilling has mattered. His election to the Phillies Wall of Fame earlier this week conjured up an almost forgotten memory from a very memorable day at Veterans Stadium - Opening Day 1992.
Phillies, Uniforms Through the Years poster (1992)
Beyond the normal excitement around Opening Day, the team was revealing their new uniforms for the first time anywhere. If you remember, they had gone to great lengths to keep the new design secret - continuing to don their old duds through Spring Training and right up until the team introductions that sunny afternoon. The "Uniforms Through the Years" poster was handed out to mark the event.
In his first at-bat of the season, Lenny Dykstra broke his wrist after getting hit by a Greg Maddux pitch. After missing a lot of the 1991 season due to injury, I had hoped having a healthy Dude would give the Phis the edge they needed in 1992 (guess we know how that turned out).
Curt Schilling autographed ball
So, this was the part I had almost forgotten...
A few days earlier the Phillies had traded for Curt Schilling, and I have to admit, I was probably upset that they traded "prospect" Jason Grimsley for him. As was customary for me at games, I was positioned along the right field fence asking players for autographs when Schilling obliged. While he was signing, I asked how he liked being a Phillie, to which he responded in the honest manner that has elicited the above emotions, "I don't know yet. We'll see..." Classic Schill.
How Schilling handles the induction and his return to Philly this August may change my feelings again. The 13-year old fan in me hopes that he'll win me back, for good...