Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jim Rice
James Edward "Jim" Rice (born March 8, 1953, in Anderson, South Carolina) is a former baseball player who was with the American League's Boston, Red Sox from 1974 to 1989. Like Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams before him, Rice was a power-hitting left fielder who played his entire career for the Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox (1974-1989)
1974 Minor League Player of the Year, Pawtucket Red Sox, International League
1974 MVP International League, Pawtucket Red Sox
1975 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
8-time AL All-Star (1977-1980 & 1983-1986)
AL MVP (1978)
6-time in top 5, AL MVP voting (1977-79,1983-84,1986)
2-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1983 & 1984)
2-time AL Slugging Percentage Leader (1977 & 1978)
AL OPS Leader (1978)
2-time AL At Bats Leader (1978 & 1981)
AL Hits Leader (1978)
4-time AL Total Bases Leader (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1983)
AL Triples Leader (1978)
3-time AL Home Run Leader (1977, 1978 & 1983)
2-time AL RBI Leader (1978 & 1983)
7 seasons over .300
382 home runs is the 11th best all-time among American League right-handed batters (4th when he retired)
20-Home Run Seasons: 11 (1975-1980 & 1982-1986)
30-Home Run Seasons: 4 (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1983)
40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1978)
100 RBI Seasons: 8 (1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985 & 1986)
100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (1977, 1978 & 1979)
200 Hits Seasons: 4 (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1986) Notable seasons
Rice led the AL in home runs three times (1977, 1978, 1983), in RBI twice (1978, 1983), in slugging percentage twice (1977, 1978), and in total bases four times (1977-1979, 1983). He also picked up Silver Slugger awards in 1983 and 1984 (the award was created in 1980). Rice hit at least 39 home runs in a season four times, had eight 100 RBI seasons, four seasons with 200+ hits and batted over .300 seven times. He finished his 16-year career with a .298 batting average, 382 home runs (52nd best of all-time), 1451 RBIs (51st), 1249 runs scored, 2452 hits (91st), and 4129 total bases (61st). He was an American League All-Star eight times (1977-1980, 1983-1986). In addition to winning the American League MVP award in 1978, he finished in the top 5 in MVP voting five other times (1975, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986).
Rice is the only player in major league history to record over 200 hits and at the same time having 39 or more HRs for three consecutive years. He is tied for the American League record of leading the league in total bases for three straight seasons, and was one of three A.L. players to have three straight seasons of hitting at least 39 home runs while batting .315 or higher. According to the web site, Rice ranked among the league leaders in various batting categories more than 100 times during his career. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists. Among all Major League players during that time, Rice was the leader in five of these categories (Mike Schmidt is next, having led in four).
His biggest flaw as a hitter was his knack for hitting into double plays. Rice's ability to hit a baseball dangerously hard, coupled with having many slow-footed teammates on base in front of him (e.g., Wade Boggs, Dwight Evans, Bill Buckner, etc.) resulted in many double plays. In 1984 he hit into a single season record of 36 double plays. He is not in bad company when it comes to grounding into double plays, because many of the career leaders in this category are Hall of Famers (e.g. Cal Ripken, Carl Yastrzemski, Hank Aaron, etc.). Rice led the league in this category in four different seasons (1982-1985), matching Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi. It should be noted that the on-base prowess of Rice's teammates placed him in a double play situation over 2,000 times during his career, almost once for every game he played, and that Rice posted a batting average of .310 and slugging percentage of .515 in those situations, better than his overall career marks in those categories. In addition, the Red Sox were far more successful as a team in the games in which Rice faced at least one double play situation, posting a winning percentage of .572 in those games compared to a mark of .489 in games when Rice didn't face a double play situation.
Rice could hit for both power and average, and at this time, only nine other retired ballplayers rank ahead of him in both career home runs and batting average. They are: Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
In 1981, at a point in his career when it looked like he would one day rank among the game's all-time greats, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

Fielding prowess
Rice was associated with a variety of charitable organizations during his career, primarily on behalf of children, some of which have carried on into his retirement. He was named an honorary chairman of The Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, in 1979,

Community activities
Rice has served as a Roving Batting Coach (1992-1994) and Hitting Instructor (1995-2000), and remains an Instructional Batting Coach (2001-present) with the Boston Red Sox organization. While the Red Sox hitting coach, the team led the league in hitting in 1997 and players won two batting titles. Since 2003, he's also been employed as a commentator for the New England Sports Network (NESN), where he contributes to the Red Sox pre-game and post-game shows. He had a cameo appearance in the NESN movie, Wait Till This Year.

Jim Rice Hall of Fame Debate

Official Website of the Boston Red Sox
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Baseball library
Jimmy Fund 50th Anniversary Photo Gallery
The Jimmy Fund Honors WEEI's Glenn Ordway With Annual "Jimmy Award"
Charity Hop
Boston Baseball
Goldberg, Jeff. "The Day Rice Made Contact", The Hartford Courant, 1997-08-07. Retrieved on 2007-02-28. 
Antonen, Mel. "Baseball Hall of Fame Chat: Mel Antonen", USA Today, 2007-01-09. Retrieved on 2007-03-01. 
Internet Movie Database
Ted Williams Museum Hitters Hall of Fame

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