It's Time For Jim Ed Rice To Be Voted Into The Hall Of Fame...We'll Know Today
It's that time of year again, that day, in fact. The results of the baseball Hall of Fame voting will be announced today, Monday, January 12th. One person who is deserving is a leftfielder who goes by the name of Jim Ed Rice. If he doesn't get in this time around, his future chances will be in the hands of the Veterans Commitee. He's been on the ballot for fourteen years and this time around is number fifteen. His vote totals have increased every year. Last year he was named on 72.2 % of the ballots and was only 16 little votes shy of his goal. In his career, he hit .298 with 382 home runs, 1451 RBIs and a .502 slugging percentage.
Jim Ed had a steamy relationship with many sportswriters, one in particular the Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell. Boswell recently said this about Jim Ed. My thanks go out to the Boston Globe for the following wise words....
"In the 'Hank Greenberg Story,' Hank talks intelligently about the supremacy of driving in runs as the competitive core of the game," Boswell wrote in an e-mail. "He said that key RBI hits, not just home runs, were what changed games, decided games, defined players."
"When we could vote, I voted for Rice several times," Boswell wrote. "Don't remember how many years I waited. I certainly didn't vote for him in the first, second, or third years. Obviously, he's the definition of a close call.
"I joked with him a couple of times that I was voting for him, even when it didn't look like he had much chance. I made the case for him with other writers at times: He was a mortal lock Hall of Famer for 11 years until, suddenly, he was finished."
Peter here. I don't know if many of you know this, but Jim Rice suddenly bowed out of baseball because of his growing nearsightedness. He played baseball before the era of soft contac lenses and lasik surgery. We all know how important it is to pick up the flight of the baseball as soon as it leaves the pitcher's hand. Ted Williams could actually see the rotation of the ball on its way to the plate. And if, as Boswell said, driving in runs is the most important attribute of a hitter, I agree. From 1975-1986, Rice knocked in more runs than anyone - 1,276. That's amazing. If the Sox had a man or two on base, more times than not Rice would get them to home plate safely. Case closed...vote him in...today! He was an electric player with a gun for an arm and an unbelievable presence at the plate...a Hall of Famer for sure.
I'd like you to leave a comment or two with your thoughts or memories of Jim Ed. I saw him play live at Fenway Park so many times, sharing the outfield duties with wall-crasher Freddie Lynn and the best outfielder I ever saw, Dwight "Dewey" Evans. In my mind, those three guys were the best outfield trio ever. You can click on this post's title to be connected to the Boston Globe. Their Jim Ed articles are amazing. Enjoy your Monday, be safe and as always, BE WELL. Shalom and aloha.