Sunday, January 6, 2008

Does Rice hear the call from the Hall this year?

The news will continue to be good for New England sports fans. It looks as if this is the year that former Boston Red Sox slugger Jim Rice makes it to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday when the Class of 2008 is announced.

With no big names on the ballot for their first year, this is looked upon as an average ballot. That should favor Rice, who had an outstanding career.

Rice is one of those sluggers whose career looks better the deeper baseball sinks into the steroid and performance-enhancing mess.

Plus, he’s nearing the end of his 15 years of eligibility, so he is running out of next years.

Check out his bio as provided by the Hall of Fame.

Fourteenth year on the ballot ... Played 16 seasons, all with the Boston Red Sox ... Named AL MVP by BBWAA and The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1978 ... Finished in top five MVP voting five other times: 1975 (third), '77 (fourth), '79 (fifth), '83 (fourth), '86 (third) ... Finished second in 1975 AL Rookie of the Year voting ... Eight All-Star teams (1977-'80, '83-'86); batted .200 in 20 ASG at-bats ... Led AL in HR three times (1977, '78, '83), RBIs twice (1978, '83), slugging percentage twice (1977, '78), hits once (1978) and triples once (1978) ... All-time ranks 54th in RBIs, 53rd in home runs and tied for 43rd in sacrifice flies ... Seven .300 seasons, four 200-plus hit seasons, three 100-plus run season (consecutively from 1977-'79), 30-plus doubles three times, 20-plus HR 11 times, 30-plus HR four times, 40-plus HR once, and 100-plus RBIs eight times ... Two three-HR games (Aug. 29, 1977 and Aug. 29, 1983) ... Led AL in total bases four times in 1977 (382), '78 (406), '79 (369) and 1983 (344); his 1978 total of 406 total bases was the most since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948 ... One of 31 players with 350+ home runs and a .290+ career batting average ... Only player in history with three straight seasons of 35+ home runs and 200+ hits ... Two AL Championship Series (1986, '88); batted .159 with seven RBIs, two HR, and eight runs scored in 44 ALCS at-bats ... One World Series (1986); batted .333 with six runs in 27 WS at-bats.

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