For nearly 16 years, Curt Schilling held 3rd-place spot in Box-Toppers career points rankings, until Clayton Kershaw passed him this week

Curt Schilling rose into third place in Box-Toppers career points on July 21, 2001, and held that spot continuously for nearly 16 years until just this week.

All-time leaders 7/21/2001

Here are Box-Toppers top 10 players in career points since tracking began in 1995 as of July 21, 2001, the day Curt Schilling began a nearly 16-year hold on third place, passing Roger Clemens:  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Randy Johnson pi sp ari nl 167.0
2 Pedro Martinez pi sp bos al 147.4
3 Curt Schilling pi sp ari nl 101.3
4 Roger Clemens pi sp nyy al 99.5
5 Greg Maddux pi sp atl nl 96.6
6 Kevin Brown pi sp lad nl 90.1
7 Albert Belle rf bal al 87.5
8 Barry Bonds lf sf nl 87.3
9 Manny Ramirez dh bos al 80.7
10 John Smoltz pi sp atl nl 80.5

All-time leaders 5/23/2017

Here are Box-Toppers top 10 players in career points since tracking began in 1995 as of May 23, 2017, the day Clayton Kershaw passed Curt Schilling, moving into third place and ending Schilling’s nearly 16-year-long occupancy of that spot:  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Randy Johnson pi sp Retired 278.8
2 Pedro Martinez pi sp Retired 244.8
3 Clayton Kershaw pi sp lad nl 194.4
4 Curt Schilling pi sp Retired 194.1
5 CC Sabathia pi sp nyy al 188.0
6 Alex Rodriguez 3b Retired 187.0
7 Albert Pujols dh 1b ana al 182.3
8 Roy Halladay pi sp Retired 170.7
9 Felix Hernandez pi sp sea al 169.7
10 Manny Ramirez lf Retired 167.2

How 2001’s top 10 stand today

All of the top 10 players in career Box-Toppers points on July 21, 2001, are now retired and most continued to earn Box-Toppers points after that day. They are listed here by their ranking that day with their final career Box-Toppers point total (tracking began in 1995) and their current rank among all players in career points. Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez still hold the top two spots, four players are still among the top 10 and eight are among the top 18:  

Player Pos BTP Today’s
1 Randy Johnson pi sp 278.8 1
2 Pedro Martinez pi sp 244.8 2
3 Curt Schilling pi sp 194.1 4
4 Roger Clemens pi sp 164.8 12
5 Greg Maddux pi sp 151.2 18
6 Kevin Brown pi sp 112.8 52
7 Albert Belle rf 87.5 105
8 Barry Bonds lf 153.2 17
9 Manny Ramirez dh 167.2 10
10 John Smoltz pi sp 160.9 14

On Tuesday, May 23, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw passed Schilling in career points after earning Player of the Day honors, giving him 194.4 career points, pushing Schilling, with 194.1, to fourth place.

But on July 21, 2001, Schilling, then of the Diamondbacks, earned Player of the Day honors, giving him 101.3 career Box-Toppers points, passing Roger Clemens, then of the Yankees, with 99.5. Schilling and Clemens had swapped third and fourth place in career points several times, starting April 10 that year when Schilling first passed Clemens (93.3-to-92.8), before Schilling took the lead for good on July 21.

It should be noted that Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995 and was only in its seventh season in 2001. Further, both Schilling and Clemens began their careers before 1995, so both would likely have earned more Box-Toppers points. In fact, if both of their careers were both tracked from the start, Clemens (who pitched from 1984-2007) would have had so many more Box-Toppers points than Schilling (who pitched from 1988-2007) that there would have been no danger of Schilling catching or passing him at any point in his career. Rough projections for Box-Toppers points for their entire careers give Clemens 320 career points and Schilling 232. (A look at projected Box-Toppers point totals for pitchers who began their careers before 1995.)

But beginning the count, as Box-Toppers did, in 1995, Schilling maintained third place from July 21, 2001, until this past week. Clemens, who fell to fourth that day, continued adding to his Box-Toppers point total until his 2007 retirement, finishing with 164.8 points from 1995 to 2007. He currently ranks 12th in Box-Toppers career points standings.

The day Schilling passed Clemens for good, he also became only the third player in Box-Toppers tracking history to reach 100 career Box-Toppers points. (Today, by contrast, nearly 16 years later, there are 78 players who have earned 100 or more career Box-Toppers points.) The other two with 100 or more points on July 21, 2001, still hold the same two top spots in career rankings:

  • Randy Johnson, then of the Diamondbacks, had 167.0 and ranked first. He still ranks first with 278.8. He retired in 2009.
  • Pedro Martinez, then of the Red Sox, had 147.4, and ranked second. He still ranks second with 244.8. He retired in 2009.

Of the players in the top 10 on July 21, 2001, only four remain in the top 10—Johnson, Martinez, Schilling and Manny Ramirez. Ramirez, then of the Red Sox, was in ninth place with 80.7 career Box-Toppers points. His 167.2 career points now ranks 10th.

All of July 21, 2001’s top 10 players in career points were active at the time and all but one continued earning Box-Toppers points. Only Albert Belle, then of the Orioles, did not earn any additional career Box-Toppers points. On that day, his 87.5 career Box-Toppers points put him in seventh place among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. He ranked first among all batters, just ahead of Barry Bonds of the Giants (87.3), who would pass him days later on July 26, 2001. Belle’s 87.5 career points now ranks nearly 100 spots lower, in 105th place, 43rd among all batters.

Eight of the players in the top 10 on July 21, 2001, are still among the top 18 players in career Box-Toppers points since tracking began in 1995. The exceptions: Belle, as previously mentioned, fell to 105th. Also, Kevin Brown, then of the Dodgers, was in sixth place with 90.1 points; his final career total of 112.8 now ranks 52nd.

Johnson’s 167.0 career Box-Toppers points on July 21, 2001, would not even rank among the top 10 career points today. He would rank 11th. The 101.3 points Schilling had that day to rise into third place would put him in 71st place on Box-Toppers career points list today. John Smoltz, then of the Braves, ranked 10th in 2001 with 80.5 Box-Toppers points. That point total would rank him 120th among all players today.

Kershaw was 13 years old when Schilling passed Clemens for good in 2001 and was 29 when he passed Schilling last week.

Kershaw has reached his point total in less time than it took Schilling, but at a slower pace than both Johnson and Martinez. Kershaw reached 194.4 points in his 10th season. Schilling’s 194.1 points were earned in 12 seasons, from 1995 to 2007. Johnson passed 194.4 points in eight seasons, from 1995 to 2002. Martinez reached Kershaw’s current point total of 194.4 in his ninth season of Box-Toppers tracking (1995 to 2003).

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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