Cooperstown Chronicles – Jim Rice
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI
Judging by how close he came (16 votes shy), I assume that Jim Rice will meet the requirements next year to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Until then I get to plead my case for his induction.
.298 Batting Average
2452 Hits (97th All-time)
382 Home Runs (53rd All-time)
1451 RBI (54th All-time)
2 Silver Sluggers
8 All-Star Appearances
6 Times in Top 5 in MVP Voting
Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Six times
On Base % – Twice
Slugging % – Eight times (Led league in 77 & 75)
OPS – Six times (Led league in 78)
Runs – Six times
Hits – Eight times (Led league in 78)
Doubles – Three Times
Triples – Four Times (Led league in 78)
Home Runs – Seven Times (Led league in 77, 78 & 83)
RBI – Nine Times (Led league in 78 & 83)
Total Bases – Nine Times (Led league in 77, 78, 79 & 83)
His 406 total bases in 1978 were more than anyone since 1948 (Stan Musial) until the Steroid Era where there have been five higher totals (Sosa twice, Luis Gonzalez, Barry Bonds, and Larry Walker). He is also the only player to lead the league in Home Runs, Triples, and RBIs in the same season. Rice was the first person with three straight 200 hit, 35 home run seasons.
If a wrist injury didn’t cost him the 1975 postseason, who knows how the story would have gone. He could have been the difference to help the Red Sox knock off the Big Red Machine. Had that happened, I’m sure Rice would have received the call years ago. Hopefully, next year is the one.