View Full Version : Should Jim Rice Be in the Hall of Fame?

01-09-2005, 01:45 AM
A simple question for hard-care baseball folks who go back to the 70s. If all you remember about Jim Rice was a guy who grounded into waaay too many double plays the last 2 years of his career, then don't bother chiming in.

Now, of course I'm a Red Sox homer, but I realize that Rice is a "borderline" hall guy. His numbers are better than some that are in, but certainly no one claims he's being royally screwed by not being inducted right away.

My point of view, however, is that for about 10 years ('75 to '85), he was THE most feared hitter in the American League. It seems to me that if everyone more or less agrees that he was the most dominant hitter in the AL for a full decade, that that ought to make one Hall-worthy, no?

I submit this question to you guys, as you're not biased and I'm interested in hearing your opinions on the matter.

Ari Chi3fs
01-09-2005, 01:47 AM
Jerry Rice should DEFINATELY be in.

01-09-2005, 01:47 AM
rice had the advantage of playing with the green monster. I don't know many times i would look over and say, well there's another one in the net that would have been an out anywhere else.

Garcia Bronco
01-09-2005, 01:48 AM

01-09-2005, 01:48 AM
also i think rice grounded into to many double plays, and by all acounts was a bad teamate. I for one think he deserves no pie

01-09-2005, 01:54 AM
This is what Jayson Stark of ESPN.com had to say about Rice:

The 50-Percenters
Jim Rice (59.5 percent -- missed by 80 votes)


Will Rice ever be elected? Uh, don't bet your tape of the Bucky Dent Game on it.

On one hand, as recently as 1999, he'd sunk all the way down to 146 votes -- and now he's up to 307. On the other hand, he's been stuck between 50 and 60 percent for six consecutive elections.

And while his 41-vote rise this year was the third-most of any candidate (behind Sandberg and Sutter), he only has four shots left and a whole lot of support to pick up.

But if it means anything to him, at least he picked up this vote -- for the first time in 11 elections.

For a voter to change his mind after 10 years makes no sense whatsoever, of course -- except for this:

Of all the candidates I've ever had to consider, none of them cost me more sleep, or caused me to ingest more Rolaids, than Rice. He's that hard a call.

There was no question he was the dominant offensive force in his league for a dozen seasons in the late 1970s and early '80s.

Unfortunately, his career then tumbled over a cliff -- at age 34.

So he never reached 400 homers, or 1,500 RBI, or 2,500 hits. And for a man who had to be evaluated almost solely for his offense, those were career numbers that just didn't quite cut it -- not for this voter, anyway.

But I've always said I was an open-minded kind of guy. So last year, I invited you thoughtful folks in Reader Land to try to change my mind. More than a thousand e-mails later, I'm happy to announce you did. ... SO PLEASE STOP SENDING THEM.

I read hundreds of those e-mails. I talked to baseball people who saw Rice play, or played against him. I finally became convinced he wasn't as one-dimensional as I'd once thought. Which allowed me to give more weight to his incredible period of dominance.

From 1975 through 1985, Rice was No. 1 in his league in homers, RBI, runs scored, slugging and extra-base hits. And aside from homers, only the great George Brett was even close to him in any of those categories.

So you can call off the e-mail assault. It's amazing my inbox didn't explode.

01-09-2005, 01:56 AM
ahhh george brett

01-09-2005, 02:13 AM
Jim Rice was no Bronze Star winner. That's for certain.

01-09-2005, 11:31 AM
Jim Rice was a star on a team that was just short every year. His teams only won 2 division crowns and his career is way too short for what I would consider a sure fire HOFer. There was alot of reminiscence this year with the Sox winning the series, but that is not going to put away the notion that he was not the leader of the team, was not an all around good player, and he fell off the map at age 34.

01-09-2005, 12:27 PM
I did follow Baseball somwhat through most of the 70's. I considered him one of the league superstars. His stats were comarable to Brett's over a slightly shorter period of time. However, I don't think you can completely overlook the effect of Fenway. On the road he was a very good, but not great player.

Rice splits:
Home 1048 games 4075 AB 208 hrs 802 rbi .320 avg .374 obp .546 slg 920 OPS
Away 1041 games 4150 AB 174 hrs 649 rbi .277 avg .330 obp .459 slg 789 OPS

I will also quibble over whether he was THE most feared hitter during that period of time. I remember an article somewhere in that time period where that question was asked of league mangers and top pitchers. Nearly unanomously they said Brett.

Overall, yes he belongs in the HOF. But I also understand the reluctance of some to vote him in.