Monday, January 09, 2006
- Led League in hr 77, 78, 83
- Led League in rbi 78, 83.
- All-Star in 1977-80, 83-86
- Most Valuable Player Award in 1978
- In 1978, Rice finished third in batting with a .315 average while leading the league in HR (46), RBI (139), hits (213), triples (15), and slugging percentage (.600).
- His 406 total bases were the highest AL total since Joe DiMaggio's 418 in 1937.In 1979, Rice hit .325 with 39 HR and 130 RBI, and became the only player in ML history with three consecutive 35 HR-200 hit seasons.(A fractured wrist limited his stats in 1980, while the players strike did the same in 1981).
- Rice led the AL in HR (39) and RBI (126) a final time in 1983, while batting .305. He drove in at least 100 runs each season from 1983 to 1986.
- Defense? Rice worked hard to improve his D, and was above average-especially in playing the wall at Fenway, in his prime. He learned to bait runners into trying to stretch singles into doubles; In 1983, Rice recorded a career-high 21 assists. Defense shouldn't hurt his chances.
- Rice is ripped for a lack of longevity, and did decline quickly in the mid 1980's, yet, in 1986, he made age/injury adjustments and took the ball up the middle and to right center more often, and recorded the second-highest batting average of his career, .324.
- Even with his precipitous decline, he is third on the Red Sox' all-time leader lists in HR, RBI, hits, and total bases, trailing only Ted and Yaz.The other litmus test should be done using your eyes and gut. You know a Hall of Famer when you see one. To those that call for Rice to be placed in the "Hall of Very Good", my guess is that you never saw this guy hit.
- HOF voters will never agree on what the criteria for the hall actually should be; Some give more weight to longevity and career, while others look at how the player dominated his peers. Additionally, many voters seem to compare players from different eras without truly considering the differences of each, which is entirely unfair. There should be two distinct paths; One that looks at dominance in an era, and the other longevity and career numbers. Both have their own merits and can make a player HOF worthy.
- CAT #1:A player with borderline HOF longevity numbers would need to show dominance to get in(Rice, Morris, Sutter, Gossage).
- CAT#2: The longevity guy wouldn't have to dominate but would have to contend amongst the leaders in key categories such as HR's, RBI, and MVP voting (Winfield, Murray, Blyleven).I believe that one should give credit to guys like Eddie Murray and Dave Winfield, who compiled impressive career stats over very long careers. They are HOF'ers based on the longevity criteria, but no one can tell me that either guy was a more feared hitter than Jim Rice. Tony Perez is another HOF'er with nice career numbers, very comparable to Rice's. Good RBI man, not even close to the hitter that Rice was. Not a HOF'er, IMHO. Rice has respectable career numbers, but when you take into account his dominance over a decade, he must get in. Rafael Palmeiro has better career #'s than Rice; He never dominated a game, let alone an era. Even before the steroid scandal, he was a borderline longevity HOF'er (stats not impressive enough for his era), and never a dominant HOF'er.
It is a shame when players that weren't even mentioned in the same breath as you during your career beat you into the hall; Hopefully, we will hear tomorrow that Jim Ed Rice has been named to the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
(Facts compiled from multiple websites and writers, including Peter Gammons and Redsoxnation.net)
-Jim Rice Hall Of Fame Hub-