A Little Love For Jim Rice

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.

jim-rice

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2 Responses to A Little Love For Jim Rice

  1. Michael says:

    I’m good with Rice in the Hall, he really tailed off at the end, but he was absolutely ferocious in his premium years, a more fearsome hitter did not exist.

    I am waiting for the voters to give Andre Dawson his due. He was an amazing talent, one of the best outfield arms in history, rare blend of speed and power. Pounding his knees on the junk astroturf at Olympic Stadium in Montreal took an edge off his game, but look at year one for him at Wrigley Stadium, after signing the blank cheque contract he offered that the Cubs filled in at $500K, well below market value during an era when owners were found guilty of collusion against free agents. Again, a character thing that should be included in his deserved inclusion in the Hall.

    • tannerleah says:

      I agree. Dawson played for the Red Sox for a couple of seasons and I was always struck by his professional demeanor. He seemed like a class act. Beyond that, he is one of three guys in the 400 HR’s and 300 SB category (Bonds and Mays are the other two).

      Importantly, Ryne Sandberg made it clear that he never turned to PED’s, even when his body was a wreck and they were becoming very popular. I suspect that, like Rice, it will take awhile but he will one day make it into the HOF.

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