- DH, LF, OF, RF, CF
- Jim Ed
- March 8, 1953
- 6' 2"
- 200 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 8-19-1974 with BOS
- Allstar Selections:
- 1978 MVP, 1983 SS, 1984 SS
- Hall of Fame:
Jim Rice was the best offensive player in baseball from 1977-1979, producing great power numbers while also batting among league leaders. He helped the Boston Red Sox to two World Series, the first as a rookie, the second at the age of 33 when he hit .324. He scored 14 runs and plated seven in 18 post-season contests. In 1978 he won the American League's Most Valuable Player award. In 2009, in his 15th and final year of eligibility, he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers.
With Pawtucket in 1974, Rice won the triple crown.
Rice's 1977, 1978, and 1979 seasons were virtually identical as far as his raw numbers go. His batting averages -- .320/.315/.325; slugging -- .593/.600/.596; and homers -- 39/46/39 for that three-year stretch are remarkably consistent. Rice reached 200 hits each year, and also collected 100 runs scored, 100 RBI, and averaged more than 50 walks and 30 doubles. In both 1977 and 1978 he hit 15 triples, not an easy feat for a guy that played half his games in cramped Fenway.
In 1978, Jim Rice became the first player to reach 400 total bases in 19 years (Henry Aaron, 1959).
Some current analysts argue that his career was too short -- but he played more than 2,000 games and made more than 2,400 hits. Some say he peaked too early, yet he won an MVP at the age of 25, and led the majors in total bases and his league in home runs five years later when he was 30. When he was 33 he ranked fifth in the AL in batting (.324), fourth in RBI (110), tied for third in doubles (39), and tied for fifth in hits (200). Much of the ill-feeling toward Rice exists because of his boorish attitude. Some actually fault him for inexplicably losing his skills at an early age (he hit 31 homers in his last three years, and his slugging percentage crashed to the sub-.400 range.) True, by the time he was 36 he was out of baseball, but for a decade (1977-1986) he was one of the most feared offensive players in the game.
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