Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Jim Rice

Jim Rice

Before sluggers started hitting 50 homer runs a year without breaking a sweat Jim Rice was hitting 40 a year and that was considered an monster year. He played his entire career(1974- 1989)on RedSox which is rare that players play their entire career with one team today. I always thought Jim Rice was a hall of Famer when I watched him the same as I thought when I watched Reggie Jackson. Yet it took Jim Rice on his final try to reach the Hall of Fame and the excuse for keeping him out all this time was…He didn’t hit 400 homers his stats weren’t good enough. Well finally someone in MLB got it right …because in 1978, Rice won the Most Valuable Player award in a campaign where he hit .315 (third in the league) and led the league in home runs (46), RBI (139), hits (213), triples (15) and slugging average (.600). He is one of only two AL players ever to lead his league in both triples and home runs in the same season, and he remains the only player ever to lead the major leagues in triples, home runs and RBIs in the same season. His 406 total bases that year were the most in the AL since Joe DiMaggio had 418 in 1937, and it made Rice the first major leaguer with 400 or more total bases since Hank Aaron’s 400 in 1959. This feat wasn’t repeated again until 1997, when Larry Walker had 409 in the NL. No AL player has done it since Rice in 1978, and his total remains the third highest by an AL right-handed hitter, behind DiMaggio and Jimmie Foxx (438 in 1932).

Rice led the AL in home runs three times (1977, 1978, 1983), in RBI twice (1978, 1983), in slugging average twice (1977, 1978), and in total bases four times (1977-1979, 1983). He also picked up Silver Slugger awards in 1983 and 1984 (the award was created in 1980). Rice hit at least 39 home runs in a season four times, had eight 100-RBI seasons and four seasons with 200+ hits, and batted over .300 seven times. He finished his 16-year career with a .298 batting average, 382 home runs, 1,451 RBIs, 1,249 runs scored, 2,452 hits, and 4,129 total bases. He was an American League All-Star eight times (1977–1980, 1983–1986). In addition to winning the American League MVP award in 1978, he finished in the top five in MVP voting five other times (1975, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986).

Rice is the only player in major league history to record over 200 hits while hitting 39 or more HRs for three consecutive years. He is tied for the AL record of leading the league in total bases for three straight seasons, and was one of three AL players to have three straight seasons of hitting at least 39 home runs while batting .315 or higher. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the AL in total games played, at bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging average, total bases, extra base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.[4] Among all major league players during that time, Rice was the leader in five of these categories (Mike Schmidt is next, having led in four).
After looking over his stats…why did it take so long to vote Jim Rice in? At least he is in. So with that in mind ….Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes…an All time slugger…Jim Rice

MLB debut
August 19, 1974 for the Boston Red Sox

Last MLB appearance
August 3, 1989 for the Boston Red Sox

Career statistics

Batting average


Home runs

Runs batted in

Boston Red Sox (1974–1989)

Career highlights and awards

8× All-Star selection (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986)
2× Silver Slugger Award winner (1983, 1984)

1978 AL MVP
Boston Red Sox #14 retired

Published by bklynboy59

Welcome to Smallthoughtsinasportsworld. We keep it fun and we keep interesting and informative. On Tuesdays we go back in time with Old School Tuesdays, on Thursdays we keep it fun by Smallthoughts Trivia Thursday and on Fridays is Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week and Smallthoughts:Rave of the Week and we also post the answer from Smallthoughts:Trivia Thursday. I am a lifelong New York Mets, Knicks and Jets and Giants fan. I root hard for my teams and have rooted for them even when it wasn't and in some cases still isn't easy. I enjoy talking sports, and on here I get to write about it as well. I have my thoughts hence Small thoughts, we will not always agree, but respectfully speak about what we feel. I invite your comments and feedback as well. You can also follow me on twitter @bklynboy59 and facebook Jerry bklynboy Small

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