Curt Schilling won't test out just how popular he is in Massachusetts.
The former Boston Red Sox pitcher, beloved in the state for his starring role in ending an 86-year championship drought, announced Tuesday he isn't running for Edward M. Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Earlier this month, Schilling expressed interest in pursuing the post held by the Massachusetts Democrat for almost 50 years before he died in August. But appearing on "Joe Buck Live" on HBO on Tuesday night, Schilling quashed the notion.
"Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that's been given to me, it just did not make sense," he said.
Kennedy, who was first elected to the Senate in 1962, died Aug. 25 of brain cancer at age 77. Primaries are scheduled for Dec. 8, and the general election will be Jan. 19.
The 42-year-old Schilling cemented his place in Boston sports lore with the "bloody sock." For a Red Sox team that hadn't won a world championship since 1918, he twice took the mound during the 2004 playoffs despite an ankle injury that left red seeping through the fabric.
Renowned for his big-game performances and big mouth, Schilling won three World Series titles, earning rings with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and again with the Red Sox in '07. He also helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the 1993 World Series.
Schilling retired in March after pitching for five teams over 20 years.
Days after the Red Sox won in 2004, he went on national TV to urge everyone to vote, "and vote Bush." Schilling stumped for Republican John McCain in 2008. But he has said he also voted for Bill Clinton, a Democrat.
Schilling laid out his political beliefs on his blog, 38pitches.com, earlier this month, while insisting there was a "slim chance" he'd run.
He was still dishing out opinions Tuesday even as he announced he wouldn't pursue Kennedy's seat.
"I think the country is sick and tired of elected officials beholden to special interests," Schilling said. "I think we're at a time and a place where we're voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the best candidate."
Rep. Michael Capuano, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca have announced they're seeking the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts.
State Sen. Scott Brown and Canton Selectman Bob Burr are seeking the Republican nomination.
Schilling would have had to run as an independent.
Gov. Deval Patrick could announce a temporary replacement for Kennedy as soon as Thursday.