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Jim Rice Gets the Call on His Fifteenth and Final At-Bat

 

There have only been four captains of the Red Sox since 1923: Jimmie Foxx, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and now Jason Varitek. On his fifteenth and final at bat with the Hall of Fame, Jim Rice made the cut. Just a year ago, Rice came so close to enshrinement, missing only 16 votes! He received 72.2% of votes, and he needed 75%. Jim Rice played his entire career with Boston (1974-1989) and gave pitchers a sickening feeling when he came to the plate (along with other Red Sox stars like Yaz, Fisk, Lynn, Boggs, Evans, and Armas during that era). Every team’s goal when playing the Red Sox was to “stop Jim Rice!” as Harold Reynolds puts it.

Boston Red Sox merchandiseThe left fielder's career statistics speak for themselves: He had 2,452 hits, 382 home runs, 1,451 RBI's, batted .298, and slugged .502. According to Bresciansi, a historian for the Red Sox, R ice topped 20 homers 11 times, 100 RBIs eight times, was an All-Star eight times, hit .300 in seven seasons and he finished in the top five in the AL MVP voting six times. He also won the MVP in 1978. Jim Rice hit 39-plus homers four times. During this time, most of Rice's stats were leading in the AL. He's been on the top ten list numerous times in numerous categories. In 1978 he played every single game, and his list of accomplishments goes on and on. He joins the other two Red Sox captains prior to him in the Hall of Fame and is one of only four other inductees to play his entire career with the Red Sox. Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Bobby Doerr, the oldest living member in the Hall of Fame are the others.

 

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Jim Rice also continues the legacy of great left fielders for the Boston Red Sox joining Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. In the near future, the Red Sox may decide to retire Jim Rice’s number fourteen, joining the likes of Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, and Ted Williams. In Jim Rice’s interview on MLB Network, he remembers getting the call at exactly 1:17 p.m., and hearing the words “Congratulations” from Jack O’Connell. Jim Rice will now be enshrined forever in immortal Halls of Cooperstown, his tradition perpetuated.

 

By Elizabeth Dreeson
ProBaseball-fans.com Boston Red Sox Correspondent


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