First lets look at comparable players:
Kevin Brown - Not a HOFer
Bob Welch - Not a HOFer
Orel Hershiser - Not a HOFer
Dazzy Vance - HOF
Mike Mussina - Possible HOF
David Cone - Not a HOFer
Milt Pappas - Not a HOFer
Lew Burdette - Not a HOFer
Don Drysdale - HOF
John Smoltz - Definite HOF
Out of ten you have 2 in the hall, 1 will be in the Hall and a possible Hall of Famer. Top of the line and he is off to a good start. So lets look at other criteria.
As I have said before, 10 year and 5 year comparisons can show some good stats to kick around in the bar. Lets look at his best ten year period:
Won 155 - lost 86 for a .643 % in 2121+ innings with a 3.41 ERA. The Top 10 in wins during that time period were:
- Randy Johnson - 176 and 83 in 2277+ innings with a 3.01 ERA.
- Greg Maddux - 168 and 99 in 2250+ innings with a 3.28 ERA
- Pedro - 158 and 61 in 1974+ innings with a 2.61 ERA
- Clemens - 156 and 67 in 2041+ innings with a 3.17 ERA
- Pettitte - 153 and 87 in 1916+ innings with a 3.78 ERA
- Glavine - 151 and 99 in 2193+ innings with a 3.47 ERA
- Mussina - 149 and 93 in 2072+ innings with a 3.67 ERA
- Moyer - 144 and 87 in 2073+ innings with a 4.00 ERA
- Bartolo Colon - 140 and 97 in 1876 innings with a 3.98 ERA
Curt is 5th in wins during that period, 7th in win % (minimum 100 wins), 7th in shut outs (minimum 100 wins), 5th in innings pitched (minimum 100 wins), 3rd in K's (minimum 100 wins), 6th in ERA and 3rd in K/9 (minimum 100 wins).
Look at the 4 people ahead of him in wins during those ten years. Each one is a certain HOF, Schilling is probably the demarcation line during that time period. Lets now look at his best 5 year period:
Schillings numbers are 89 wins 44 losses in 1175+ innings with a 3.33 ERA and a .656 Winning percentage. The top 10 in wins during that time were:
- Randy Johnson - 100 and 38 in 1274+innings with a 2.63 ERA.
- Greg Maddux - 89 and 44 in 1152 innings with a 2.88 ERA.
- Tom Glavine - 89 and 44 in 1148+ innings with a 3.31 ERA.
- Pedro - 87 and 24 in 980 innings with a 2.27 ERA.
- Bartolo Colon - 81 and 42 in 1052+ innings with a 3.69 ERA.
- Roger Clemens - 80 and 33 in 1027 innings with a 3.70 ERA.
- David Wells - 79 and 36 in 982+ innings with a 4.10 ERA.
- Aaron Sele - 77 and 44 in 1004+ innings with a 4.37 ERA.
- Mussina - 77 and 53 in 1091+ innings with a 3.59 ERA.
Looking at this you see in order HOFer, HOFer, possible HOFer (most likely will win 300 games), Curt, not a HOFer, HOFer, not a HOFer, not a HOFer and a possible HOFer. 4 future inductees and 2 possible inductees. This is again a good thing for Curt's chances. Further more he is tied for sixth in Shut outs, 3rd in K's, 6th in ERA and 3rd in K's per 9. All of this makes it a good possibility that he will be inducted into the Hall.
Career wise lets look at the leader boards from 1997 to 2004 made the All Star game. In 2001 and 2002 #10 in MVP voting. In 1997 #4 in Cy Young voting and in 2001, 2002 and 2004 2nd in Cy Young. From 1996 - 2004 was in the top 10 of era 8 of the 9 years (2000 only year not). League wins lead in 2001 and 2004, was second in 2002 and 5th in 1997. From 1996 - 2004 was in the top 10 in WHIP, and led in 1992 and was 6th in 2006. Presently is 3rd among active players and 40th all time. In 1993, 1997 - 2004 and 2006 was in the top 10 in BB's / 9 IP leading in 2002 and 2006. K's / 9IP in 1993, 1996 - 1999, 2001 - 2004 and 2006 was in the top ten and career is 12th all time. He has 3015 K's all time which is 4th among active pitchers and 14th all time. K's to walks was 5th in 1993 and from 1996 - 2004 was in the top 10 leading in the years 2001 - 2004 and led in 2006 and is 2 all time. Adjusted ERA is 12th active and 48th all time.
Baseball reference has a black-ink test which has Curt's rating at 42 (average HOF is 40), the gray-ink test where he has a rating of 204 (average HOF is 185), HOF Standards has a rating of 46 (average HOF is 50) and HOF monitor rating of 167 (Likely HOFer is >100). His overall rank in these categories is 33rd, 34th, 48th and 36th.
So, what does this all mean? A very close call on the HOF but should make it. What will push him over the top? How about these facts - the 2001 World series where he started 3 games with a 1 - 0 record, pitching 21+ innings with 26 K's, 2 BB's and a sparkling 1.69 ERA to share MVP with Randy Johnson. 2004 ALCS bloody sock game (6) where he went 7 innings giving up 1 ER on a HR with 4 k's and no BB's. These are the type of games that stick in voters minds, coming up big on the big stage can take a player from possible to Hall of fame stature.
Overall in the playoffs Curt is 8 and 2 in 15 games with a sparkling 2.06 ERA. He struck out 104 batters and only walked 22 in those games in 109+ innings. That is the quintessential definition of big game player.