Normally, I don’t cover sports on my blog because I don’t have any interest getting into the “my team rocks…your team sucks” kind of conversation. I know what teams and players I like and, frankly, I am not interested whether anyone else agrees with me or not.
Having said that, Jim Ed Rice was finally elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is a well deserved honor, in my opinion. When I was a young man, there was not a more a more feared hitter in baseball with the possible exception of Mike Schmidt. His 15 triples in 77 and 78 were also quite remarkable for a power hitter…pre steroid or post.
The rub with Rice was that he was said to have a prickly personality and was difficult to deal with. I can’t remember hearing this from his teammates so I guess it was more of an issue with the press. Since I don’t know the guy personally, I could care less whether he kissed up to the press corps or not.
Watching the bat speed that Jim could create while holding his bat low was amazing. He must have had incredible power in his wrists and forearms to generate that much momentum. The rumor is that he “checked” his swing while playing golf and snapped the shaft of the golf club. I don’t know if that was true or not but it’s a great story.
Congratulations, Jim. To this day, I see you will still not bow down to the press and kiss their collective pinky rings. Good for you. It is a shame that it took 15 years for your selection but I am really pleased that you made it. Who knows, maybe the other “Gold Dust Twin” will make it someday.