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Pitching great Schilling says he lost his baseball fortune in company's crash

By Associated Press


PROVIDENCE, R.I. >> Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said Friday that the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he placed part of the blame on Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Schilling said during a 90-minute interview on WEEI-FM in Boston that he put more than $50 million of his own money in the company and that he’s had to tell his family that “the money I saved during baseball was probably all gone.”

Schilling said he hopes to return to work soon as an analyst for ESPN. He took a leave of absence from the network after 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy protection on June 7. The firm was lured to Providence from Massachusetts in 2010 after Rhode Island offered a $75 million loan guarantee. The state is working to determine how much it’s on the hook for after the company’s collapse.

While he conceded that he “absolutely” was part of the reason the company failed, he said public comments made by Chafee last month questioning the firm’s solvency were harmful as the firm tried — but failed — to raise private capital to stay afloat.

“I think he had an agenda,” Schilling said about Chafee.

Chafee vocally opposed the state’s loan guarantee to 38 Studios when he was running for governor in 2010. But after it was a done deal, he was the company’s “biggest cheerleader,” Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said Friday.

“The success of 38 Studios would have meant success for Rhode Island through the contribution a company makes to the overall economy,” she said in a statement. “There is no victory in the failure of 38 Studios. People have lost their jobs and Rhode Island taxpayers are now potentially responsible for the repayment of tens of millions of dollars.”

Schilling also accused Chafee of failing to work with an investor who was willing to put $15 million to $20 million into the company to help it succeed. He said the investor walked away because of Chafee’s inaction.

38 Studios laid off its entire workforce — nearly 300 employees in Providence and more in Maryland — last month. That move came after it was more than two weeks late on a $1.1 million payment to the state; officials have said that was the first indication the company was in financial trouble.

The firm had sought millions of dollars in tax credits from Rhode Island as it struggled to stay afloat, but Schilling said Friday that he wasn’t looking for a bailout.

State and federal authorities, meanwhile, are investigating 38 Studios’ finances. Citizens Bank also has sued Schilling to recover $2.4 million in loans it made to 38 Studios.

Schilling, who also pitched for Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia and Arizona, won the World Series three times and is perhaps best remembered for pitching Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series with an injured ankle that stained his sock with blood.

Schilling said he hasn’t done anything wrong. He said he never took any money from the company, not even a salary. He said the company was close to succeeding but just couldn’t raise enough private capital. He also said he never intended to hurt the firm’s workers.

“It’s been kind of a surreal 60 days or 65 days,” Schilling said. “It’s crushing and devastating to see it fail the way it did.”

Schilling was asked how the company’s collapse has affected him personally.

“I don’t know. ... It’s not over yet,” he said. “I would imagine the next foreseeable time in our lives is going to be consumed by this. It’s a life-changing thing.”

But he added, “I’m not asking for sympathy. It was my choice.”

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RandyHearst wrote:
Struck out
on June 22,2012 | 06:16AM
Manoa2 wrote:
Most entrepreneurs do not put their fortunes at risk . They use other people's money-- people who can afford to lose it all. Second, most entrepreneurs will file bankruptcy to escape their creditors and try to cut deals to save the company and their stake. He was not getting good advice or did not follow it.
on June 22,2012 | 07:10AM
serious wrote:
Manoa2, you are correct. Another thought is if it looks too good---???? Most people who venture see a return far better than they can get in a none risk situation--and they pay!!!
on June 22,2012 | 07:25AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Manoa and serious, I think you are both wrong. Most people who start businesses, risk everything. Most smart investors will not invest in a start up if the person starting a company has no "skin" in the game.
on June 22,2012 | 08:02AM
serious wrote:
I won't disagree with your thoughts. One's risk factor varies with age and responsibility. After my wife died I took many risks in business, but even then I was on top of the situation. I look at the SuperFerry--horrible idea, it was broken from the start. One has to do homework, research and devote the time to any venture. Even safe ones become a disaster. Get rich quick doesn't work.
on June 22,2012 | 10:02AM
Tony96822 wrote:
Bases loaded and ball four. You can't blame the umpire for walking in the winning run. Take the loss and walk off the field. Maybe throw half your money in but save the other half.
on June 22,2012 | 07:46AM
cojef wrote:
He took the risk, too bad. Sorry for the family who had a not too smart father. To risk $50M is asinine, maybe half, yes.
on June 22,2012 | 08:16AM
Beaglebagels wrote:
I have read that more than half of professional athletes are bankrupt within 5 years of their career ending. Very sad.
on June 22,2012 | 08:41AM
Bean808 wrote:
Not to bright.
on June 22,2012 | 09:15AM
Senior_Researcher wrote:
Amazing that Schilling, a red Republican thru and thru (remember him endorsing Bush Jr. after the WS in 2004 when John Kerry rooted from the front row at Fenway?), would put the taxpayers on the hook for $75 million, then blame the government when his business failed. Couldn't have happened to a bigger blowhard, excpet maybe Donald "The Combover" Trump.
on June 22,2012 | 10:35AM
Descartes22 wrote:
Like most professional athletes, he made a fortune and now only has a Schilling to his name.
on June 22,2012 | 12:24PM
Senior_Researcher wrote:
Good one!
on June 22,2012 | 02:33PM
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