12.24.06

The Annual Jim Rice Hall Of Fame Article…

Posted in Baseball at 1:02 pm by

…this time, from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.

“So do you think you’ll get inducted this time?” Rice was asked after returning to Boston from his other home in South Carolina.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “I don’t understand the voters sometimes. If you have the numbers to get in, if they compare to other people you’ve already put in, if the numbers are there, then why aren’t you in? Why is Bert Blyleven not in with all of those wins and all of those strikeouts? Why is Lee Smith not in? Goose Gossage? Doesn’t he have the numbers to get in? If the numbers are there, then why not? Why are so many people excluded? I never understood it.”

Nor should he. The voting is subjective. It takes many factors into consideration, including the character issue, for which McGwire will be penalized. “If you cheated, you shouldn’t be in. If you broke the rules, you shouldn’t be in. That’s why Pete Rose isn’t in. He gambled on baseball,” said Rice. “McGwire, you know, he was always a power hitter, but if he took something he shouldn’t have taken then he shouldn’t be in.”

Most observers of Hall of Fame voting feel Rice would have a better shot next season because this time the focus is on Ripken, Gwynn, and McGwire. But why should that matter? Voters are allowed to put 10 players on each ballot. Why wouldn’t Rice get all the votes he got last year? Why wouldn’t some of those voters who are ignoring McGwire stand up and say Rice played the game hard, played the game right, and amassed the numbers. Why can’t Rice get in now?

“I’ve been an advocate for Jimmy for years,” said former Sox second baseman and NESN color man Jerry Remy. “I played with him and I knew compared to the rest of the league for those five or six years there was nobody better. He was the most feared hitter. Nobody wanted to pitch to him. I think there were times Jimmy played when he shouldn’t have. But playing every day whether he was hurt or whether he felt fine was important to him. He respected the game and wanted to help his team win.

“There’s got to be a place for him in Cooperstown. People have to understand what he was.”

One Response to “The Annual Jim Rice Hall Of Fame Article…”

  1. Sat Hanuman S. Khalsa says:

    I agree with Jerry Remy and other sound baseball ‘thinkers’ who feel James Ed Rice belongs in the “Hall”. I got to see Teddy Ballgame play from 1956-60 at Fenway when I was a kid. I saw ‘Yaz” play from 1961-until he 1984. I watched Jim play from 1975-1989. Jim was almost as exciting to watch as Ted. For a rightg hand hitter, his swing was almost as pretty. He really impressed me in 1978 and 1986. No one seems to discuss this. How many African-Americans have played their entire baseball career with the Boson Red Sox? Only one-Jim Rice. Do you know how much pressure from the Boston Press was on him? Only three players played left field at Fenway consecutively in 50 years (1940-1989) and they are the three named above. I have a question: Why does ‘Yaz’ not ever where a Boston hat when he is at a Fenway event Jim Rice played 17 years with the Boston Red Sox including AAA in Pawtucket. I hope 2008 is the year he gets in and #14 is retired next to #9 and #8. No one has worn that number in almost 20 years. If he had played 6 more years he would have those numbers, but the stress and his failing eyes showed him early retirement. He hit home runs at Fenway and other baseball parks that were awesome. Let me close by saying that he had 406 total bases in 1978. That is a reminder that Ted hit .406 in 1941. Reverse the ’41 and you’ll get #14. Go Jimmy, all the way to Cooperstown.

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