Tuesday, January 20, 2009

**Jim Ed Rice...1982 Life Saver**

Good morning on this Inauguaration Day Tuesday. Finally, Bush takes his leave and hope returns. God bless the new President. May he have a long, successful and healthy tenure. OK, how about a baseball memory that I will never forget. Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald wrote an article today about an event that happened during a Red Sox game on August 7, 1982. A four year old, Jonathon Keane, was sitting in the second row on the first base line at Fenway Park. I've sat near there before...if you don't pay attention during the pitcher's delivery, a line drive foul ball is liable to smack you right on the head. And that's exactly what happened to Jonathon. It came off the bat of Boston first baseman Dave Stapleton and hit the young lad on the right temple. He was visibly bloodied. Jim Ed ran out from the dugout, picked up the youngster gently in his huge arms and carried him into the clubhouse to a waiting ambulance. I remember it as if it was last season, even though I only saw the game on television. Jonathon is now 31 and lives in North Carolina. He'll never forget that day, either. Jim Ed had this to say about his quick actions, all these years later...

“There’s a big reaction from that,” Rice said. “People always say, ‘What happened to the kid?’ ”

And here's Jonathon himself, and then Jim Ed once again. Jonathon closes out the quotes...

“What he did saved my life,” Keane said. “In those types of situations, most people freeze. He was really quick to react. That’s heroic in my eyes.”

“I had two kids at the time. It was just a reaction,” Rice said. “It wasn’t anything where you could sit there and plan or anything like that. I knew doctors were in the ballpark. Why not pick the kid up and bring him in the clubhouse where he could have medical attention?”
“That picture (of Rice with Jonathon in his arms, safe but bloodied) is in a collage upstairs in Fenway Park. When I go upstairs, I see that picture,” Rice said. “When I come to Fenway Park, every time I look at the park . . . that’s the thing I think about the most.”

“I think what he did speaks volumes about his character,” Keane said. “He really did save my life. There’s no question about it.”

Those memories still bring tears to my eyes. Those tears are a testament to the man himself, Hall of Famer Jim Ed Rice. If' you'd like to read the entire article and see that famous picture, simply click on the title of this post. I hope your Tuesday will be terrific, and again, good luck to soon-to-be President Barak Obama. God bless him, and every one of us. As always, BE WELL. L'chaim, to life. It's all we have, so hold on to it.


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