At first it was a locker room curiosity. Curt Schilling came to Spring Training with a vial of red liquid that he kept in his locker. Schilling seemed unusually attached to the item, and people were reluctant to ask him about it. Finally, one day Manny Ramirez walked into the locker room, sauntered right up to him and said, “Yo, man, what’s in that bottle?” It was then that Schilling revealed to his teammates the stunning truth: the vial contained blood that seeped from his sutured wound in the ALCS playoffs and the World Series. A wide-eyed Ramirez looked back at the vial and promptly fainted.
“It’s kind of a spiritual good luck charm,” Schilling said with a big smile, apparently unfazed by the gruesome nature of his affinity. “Pitching those games with the sutures was such an important part of my career, so I’d like this blood to be with me forever.” He then looked at the vial with a strange smile, and added, “And so it shall.”
Ramirez, upon being revived with smelling salts by teammates, looked in horror at the vial, as he edged away from Schilling. “Lemme tell you,” he said to his teammates in a shaky voice, “that’s real blood, man. I never seen anything like that. He keeps blood in his locker, man, like some kind of vampire. It’s spooky. I don’t trust that guy no more.” Ramirez put on a turtleneck sweater, and quickly left, keeping his eyes on Schilling the whole time.
Mike Timlin said he’s not bothered by the blood itself, but more by the way it seems to affect Schilling. “He gets a real weird look in his eyes when he looks at it,” the pitcher said. “Sometimes I walk by his locker and he’s just staring at that blood, in his own little world. I mean, when a guy spends that much time staring at a bottle of his own blood, you gotta start thinking about his mental stability.”
“Oh, come on,” an annoyed Schilling said, when made aware that some of his teammates were concerned. “It’s just some blood that I like to keep with me. It’s not like I’m keeping my dead grandmother’s hand in my locker, or something.”
Terry Francona said he was not aware that Schilling was keeping the blood in his locker. “I thought that was tomato juice, to tell you the truth,” said the startled skipper. “I might have to speak to Schill about that. I don’t think we want to encourage players to start keeping parts of their own body as good luck charms. With guys like Millar and Damon around here, that could get dangerous. Real dangerous.”