Jim Rice was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, he was elected with 76.4% of the vote in his 15th and final year of eligibility. Rice batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBIs from 1974-89, and his numbers were not those generally considered Hall of Fame worthy, due to his shortened career. However, Rice was dominant in his prime, he drove in 100 or more runs eight times, batted over .300 seven times, and topped 200 hits four times. He’s also the only player in major league history with at least 35 homers and 200 hits in three consecutive seasons (1977-79).
Rice nearly won the triple crown in his 1978 MVP season, hitting .315 (third in the league) and led the league in home runs (46), RBI (139), hits (213), triples (15) and slugging average (.600). He is one of only two AL players ever to lead his league in both triples and home runs in the same season, and he remains the only player ever to lead the major leagues in triples, home runs and RBIs in the same season. His 406 total bases that year were the most in the AL since Joe DiMaggio had 418 in 1937, and it made Rice the first major leaguer with 400 or more total bases since Hank Aaron’s 400 in 1959. Not only was Rice a very talented player on the field, but a good man off of it. This ESPN video documents a side of Jim Rice many people do not know, in 1982, a young fan was struck by a screaming line drive, Rice rushed to grab the child and bring him to the clubhouse to get attended to. The fan, in bad condition, was saved due to Rice’s quick reactions.
On behalf of the Spinners organization we would like to congratulate Jim Rice on his induction into the Hall of Fame.