Curt Schilling, the pitcher who helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Curt Schilling was an average baseball player until he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 1992. His career stats included 3,116 strikeouts, 83 complete games, and a World Series championship in 2004. He announced his retirement in 2009. At that time, he earned more than $90 million in earnings and bonuses, not including endorsements.
Schilling expected to have the same success off the diamond. He started a company, 38 Studios. The company intended to create a World of Warcraft rival competitor. Schilling did not have success with his company because although he had the passion for the game, he had no knowledge about running a company. The company, over its six year life, released one game – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It sold 1.2 million copies worldwide.
The costs of the game development forced 38 Studios into bankruptcy. There was also a lawsuit for breach of a taxpayer-funded loan agreement of $75 million. At the time of its filing, the company had $22 million in assets but $151 million in debt. Schilling lost $50 million of his own personal money. Schilling had to auction off some of his personal memorabilia, including the now famous bloody sock.
Curt Schilling was an amazing baseball player who enjoyed much success on the diamond. Sadly, he fell into an investment problem he could not solve. His lack of entrepreneurial skills made it nearly impossible for Schilling to create a business without reading, research, and knowledge of that particular industry. His post-bankruptcy woes continued as he originally had no back up plan and no safety net in the event 38 Studios was not successful. Schilling landed on his feet with ESPN as a color commentator and analyst. He was suspended and later fired by ESPN for offensive posts on Twitter.
The takeaway tip: If you have a passion that you want to be successful, read about it, study it, and learn everything you can about that field. And just to be safe, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.