If you grew up in Boston in the late 70’s/early 80’s then you knew Jim Rice was legendary. I can remember quite succinlty the summer of ’78 when my brother had a Jim Rice poster and I had a Carlton Fisk. This led to daily feuding on the importance of each player to the team. In hindsight, Rice was unbelievable. Arguably the greatest threat in baseball.
‘Jim Ed’ was not a fan favorite however. Fenway fans had come to look New England’s Fisk, Captain Yaz and the star Lynn. things became worse when Hobson, Lynn, Fisk and Burleson changed teams. Pressure mounted on Rice and he responded, but his salary increased and no championships came. Fans became disgruntled that Rice, alone could not deliver a championship.
He also had a penchant for hitting into double plays. In the early 80’s, Fenway would often show their frustration by chanting ‘6-4-3’ every time Rice stepped into the batter’s box. Keep in mind, Rice hit into so many dp’s, because he hit the ball so hard!
His stats are Hall of Fame numbers. A plea to the writers, if Cepeda, Puckett, Sutton, Perez and Hunter are in; vote Rice in next year. Please. He deserves it. A class act throughout all his exposure.