Curt Schilling not invited to throw World Series 1st pitch with greats from '04 Red Sox

Curt Schilling is a central player in the story of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

His bloody sock game in Game 6 of the American League Championship series that saw the Red Sox rally from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees en route to their first World Series title in 86 years is the stuff of baseball lore.

Schilling is also a pariah in large circles. The former Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Red Sox great has chosen to spend his retirement years espousing radical, sometimes racist political opinions.

Red Sox don’t invite Schilling to World Series ceremony

It appears now that the Red Sox don’t want to associate with Schilling.

Boston invited players from the ’04 championship team to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday. David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millar, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Keith Foulke and Alan Embree were invited, a group of former Red Sox that range from icons to role players.

Schilling, who lives locally, was not part of that group. According to Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, the Red Sox did not invite him.

‘Not out of spite’

“We did not reach out to him, but it was not out of spite,” a Red Sox executive told Shaughnessy. “It was originally just going to be Pedro and David and Wake and Millar, but we heard from a few others and they are included.”

Put more simply, Schilling is now too hot for even the Red Sox to touch.

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World Series Game 1: Red Sox top Dodgers 8-4
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scores on a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado #8 in the seventh inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series between against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Red Sox Eduardo Nunez watches his bottom of the 7th inning home run. The Boston Red Sox hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the World Series at Fenway Park in Boston on Oct. 23, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is unable to make the play on a Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox double in the seventh inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after recording three outs in the eighth inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to flying out with the bases loaded to end the top of the seventh inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox hits a three-run home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: The Los Angeles Dodgers react to a seventh inning home run by Eduardo Nunez (not pictured) #36 of the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Mitch Moreland #18 and Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate their teams 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox stands in the outfield in front of the Green Monster in the ninth inning during Game 1 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox hugs Ian Kinsler #5 after the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4, in Game 1 of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a three-run home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox receives a Gatorade shower while talking to the media after the Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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Schilling’s complicated legacy

While hosting a radio show for far right-wing media outlet Breitbart in 2017,  Schilling invited white supremacist and anti-Semitic congressional candidate Paul Nehlen as a guest. Breitbart later distanced itself from the podcast archive that was eventually deleted in which Schilling provided a platform for Nehlan, a man who regularly used the phrase during his campaign “It’s OK to be white,” a motto adopted by the Ku Klux Klan.

It’s this kind of activity that has complicated his legacy and led many in baseball and sports media to distance themselves from Schilling.

Phillies, Diamondbacks embrace Schilling

That wasn’t the case in June for the Phillies, who invited Schilling to join a reunion of the 1993 National League champions while putting him front and center for a Q&A with some of his former teammates.

The Diamondbacks also invited Schilling to participate in a 20th anniversary alumni game in August. The Red Sox have included Schilling in past celebrations of World Series winners.

But in a political climate that becomes more heated by the day as the mid-term elections approach, the Red Sox have apparently decided that associating with someone who promotes the views that Schilling does is not in their best interest as they step on baseball’s highest stage.

Schilling’s views have cost him before

This is not the first time Schilling’s politics have gotten in the way of his role in the sports landscape. ESPN fired Schilling from his job as an analyst in 2016 when his Facebook post on the North Carolina bathroom debate proved to be the last straw for the network after his frequent controversial social media posts. He was previously taken off the network’s Little League World Series broadcasts after comparing Muslims to Nazis on Twitter.

In 2016, Schilling, a World Series MVP and six-time All Star, saw his support for the Hall of Fame dip from 52.3 percent to 45 percent, a trend that’s difficult to disconnect from his ESPN controversy and tweet supporting T-shirts that suggest lynching members of the media.

Schilling has since seen his support for the Hall of Fame, which has a character clause for entrance, surpass 50 percent, where 75 percent of the vote is the threshold for entrance.

It’s hard to predict if Schilling will eventually make the Hall. It the Red Sox don’t want to associate with him, will Cooperstown?

In the meantime, Wednesday’s first pitch at Fenway Park featured a glaring absence among the icons of perhaps Boston’s most beloved Red Sox team.

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Jason Owens is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter.

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