In 2004, nearly 18 years after Boston drafted him in 1986, Curt Schilling finally made his debut with the Red Sox; in between, the veteran ballplayer spent 16 seasons, beginning in 1990, playing for Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, and Arizona. With the promise that he would “break an 86-year-old curse,” the 2001 World Series co-MVP won 21 starts and finished second in the Cy Young vote during the regular season.
Schilling then won his first post-season start but an ankle injury appeared to damage any chance Boston had of a championship. Instead, thanks to a revolutionary surgical procedure and with blood seeping through his sock, he pitched through the pain for a crucial win in Game Six of the team’s miraculous ALCS win over New York, then toughed it out in Game Two of the World Series for yet another win, the first pitcher to win World Series starts for three different ball clubs (he had also won a start for Philadelphia in 1993 and the Diamondbacks in 2001).
Injuries would limit him to only 11 starts and 32 appearances in 2005, 21 times as an emergency closer, but he rebounded the next season to win 15 starts, including career win number 200 in May of 2006. 2007 proved to be another difficult season as shoulder tendonitis knocked him out between mid-June and August, which limited him to just 24 starts, but he proved healthy enough to join Boston on the post-season roster, winning three games in four starts with a 3.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts as the Sox won their second World Series title in his four year tenure.