There have only been four captains of the Red Sox since 1923: Jimmie Foxx, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and now Jason Varitek. The hall of fame ballots are out yet again, and it is Jim Rice’s final at-bat on this ballot. Just a year ago, Rice came so close to enshrinement, missing only 16 votes! He received 72.2% of votes, and he needed 75%… talk about close! Jim Rice played his entire career with Boston (1974-1989) gave pitchers a sickening feeling when he came to the plate (along with other Red Sox stars like Yaz, Fisk, Lynn, Boggs, Evans, Armas during that era). The left-fielder’s career statistics speak for themselves:
He had 2,452 hits, 382 home runs, 1451 RBI’s, batted .298, and slugged .502. If that’s not enough for you, the other two Red Sox captains, Jimmie Foxx and Carl Yastrzemski, have both been inducted into the hall of fame.
Jimmie Foxx played first base, batted an astounding .325, collected 2646 hits, 534 home runs, and 1751 runs, and 1922 RBI’s.
Yaz played left field, first base, and was a designated hitter (and is notorious for his ability to track down flies), had 1816 runs, 3419 hits, 452 home runs, 1844 RBI’s, and batted .285.
Even though these other captains have better career statistics (over all), remember Rice only played 16 seasons. Foxx played 20 and Yaz played 23, so if Rice had played longer, perhaps his stats would’ve reached this height. According to Bresciansi, a historian for the Red Sox, Rice topped 20 homers 11 times, 100 RBIs eight times, was an All-Star eight times, hit .300 in seven seasons and he finished in the top five in the AL MVP voting six times. Also, Rice hit 39-plus homers four times. During this time, most of Rice’s stats were leading in the AL. He’s been on the top ten list numerous times in numerous categories. Other players like Duke Snider and Billy Williams have similar career statistics and they’re in the hall of fame. In 1978 he played every single game. The list of his accomplishments go on and on.
So, I urge everyone with a hall of fame ballot to put a checkmark, bubble in, or do whatever it is that you do, to help ensure that Jim Rice gets the eternal honor that he deserves in Cooperstown.