Friday, October 29, 2004

Nobles: Curt Schilling, for a truly gutsy performance, both on and off the field.

While the sports writers debate whether the Boston Red Sox pitcher is the “Greatest Ever,” at least in the postseason, the fact is Schilling is one darn good pitcher. But that alone wouldn’t grant Mr. Schilling a Noble of the week mention.

The truly great ones perform well not only when life is good and the body’s healthy. The truly great ones perform well, sometimes better, when the odds are against them and the situation looks grim.

Schilling entered the playoffs with a nagging ankle tendon that was threatening to tear at each throw, which could have ended his remarkable career. Starting Game 1 against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, Schilling lasted only three innings. At this point, a lesser athlete would have hung them up, but not Schilling.

Putting his doctors to work, Schilling prepared to start Game 6 with his team facing elimination. With his tendon stabilized with stitches and the area pumped with painkillers, Schilling went back to the mound and won, allowing just one run and four hits. He returned once more for Game 2 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Blood flowing from his ankle, Schilling pitched Boston to another win. Such acts of selflessness are what heroes are made of.

It just so happens that Schilling also has some good political sense. On Thursday morning, he appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” fresh from Boston’s World Series victory the night before. Before the interview ended, he said: “Tell everybody to vote. And vote for Bush next week.”

For his performance on and off the field, Schilling is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: The Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund, for ignoring child-labor laws.

Most schools teach American civics in the classroom, with books and historical lessons. Not in Wisconsin, where the WCAF is using children as young as 11 to canvass neighborhoods to register voters during school hours. But, you see, WCAF co-executive Larry Marx says it’s totally non-partisan, so everything’s A-OK.

Never mind that the WCAF’s advocacy arm has endorsed John Kerry; or that the students would be canvassing in historically Democratic neighborhoods; or even that all this is being conducted with tax dollars, since the children should be in school anyway.

Still, as the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto wonders, “what does it say about the strength of the Democrats’ support that they can’t find enough volunteers and have to resort to exploiting children in this way?”

For even suggesting that this is “non-partisan,” the people at the Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund are the Knaves of the week.

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