Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame!!!
Jim’s in, by a mere 9 votes (if I did my math correctly)…Phew!!
Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox
I can say that folks over here are ecstatic!! There was a loud cheer that went up here in the Front Office as soon as it was announced. Dick Bresciani, who has long championed Rice’s case, has his eyes glued on the mlb network, listening to the coverage. It must be a very happy moment for him, Rod, Debbie and the rest of the gang here who have lobbied the voters by sending them statistical information on Rice’s behalf over the past few years. Good for them!
What are your thoughts and reactions?? Looking forward to hearing from you!
All the best from a VERY happy Front Office,
“The Voice of the Nation”
JIM RICE ELECTED TO NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
IN COOPERSTOWN, NY
Joins fellow Red Sox outfielder Rickey Henderson in the Class of 2009
BOSTON, MA–Jim Rice was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York today, becoming one of 32 Red Sox players to receive the honor. He is the 48th electee to spend his entire career with one team and just the fourth to do so with Boston, joining Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.
Rice received 412 of the 539 votes cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, 76.4 percent of the total, a gain of 4.2 percent over his total in 2008 when he finished 16 votes shy of the necessary 75 percent. Also elected along with Rice was outfielder Rickey Henderson, with 94.8 percent of the votes. Henderson appeared in 72 games for Boston in 2002, marking the first time that a pair of Red Sox have earned induction in the same year since Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez in 2000.
Number 14 reached the Hall of Fame in his 15th and final year of eligibility on the writers’ ballot, done only twice previously by Red Ruffing (1967) and Ralph Kiner (1975). He and Henderson are the 20th and 21st left fielders to be elected and first since Yastrzemski (1989), the man Rice replaced beneath Fenway Park’s Green Monster in 1975.
Over 16 seasons from 1974-89, Rice batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBI in 2,089 games, earning eight All-Star selections along the way. He placed among the top five in American League Most Valuable Player voting six times during his career, more than any other player between 1963 and 2005, and won the award in 1978 when he hit .315 with 213 hits, 46 home runs, 139 RBI, and a .600 slugging percentage. The former Red Sox captain also collected 406 total bases in 1978, still the only A.L. player to reach 400 since Joe DiMaggio in 1937 (418).
Rice drove in 100 or more runs eight times, had seven different seasons with at least a .300 batting average, and four with 200 hits or more. He topped the 20-home run plateau 11 times and ranked among the A.L.’s top 10 in that category on seven occasions with first place finishes in 1977, 1978 and 1983. He helped Boston to A.L. Pennants in 1975, when he finished second to teammate Fred Lynn in Rookie of the Year voting, and 1986, as well as an Eastern Division title in 1988.
He is joined by Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro as one of only eight players ever to lead the majors in total hits and RBI over a 14-year span, a feat he accomplished from 1975-88. During that period he also paced the A.L. in runs, round trippers and outfield assists.
The South Carolina native is the only player in major league history to record at least 35 homers and 200 hits in three straight seasons, doing so from 1977-79. He also led the A.L. in total bases in each of those three consecutive campaigns, a record he shares with Cobb (1907-09) and Williams (1942, 46-47).
Rice, who was one of the first inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995, ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in at-bats (3rd), hits (3rd), home runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), games (4th), runs (4th), doubles (6th), triples (6th), slugging percentage (8th) and walks (8th). He has been a member of the organization since he was selected with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 1971 June draft. In 1974, he won the International League Triple Crown, batting .337 with 25 long balls and 93 RBI for Pawtucket.
Following his playing career, he was a roving minor league hitting instructor for Boston from 1992-94, a major league hitting coach from 1995-2000, and continues to serve the team today as a special assignment instructor, a role he has held since 2001. He also works as an analyst on NESN’s pre and post-game Red Sox coverage.
Rice and Henderson will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 26.