Jim Rice

James Edward Rice
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2009
Primary team: Boston Red Sox
Primary position: Left Fielder

“He had tremendous power, but yet he was an excellent hitter who could hit to the opposite field or go up the middle. Most power hitters have holes. Jim Rice had no big holes,” said Hall of Famer relief pitcher Goose Gossage.

When Jim Rice took over as Boston’s everyday left fielder in 1975, the Red Sox already had a proud tradition of outfielders patrolling the Green Monster in Fenway Park. Ted Williams spent two decades establishing himself as one of the greatest hitters of all-time before giving way to Carl Yastrzemski, who had a Hall of Fame career himself over a 23-year career with the Red Sox.

With Yastrzemski at first base and designated hitter in 1975, Rice took over in left field at age 22 and led the Red Sox in home runs with 22, finishing third in the American League MVP voting and second in Rookie of the Year voting to teammate Fred Lynn, who also took home the MVP award.

Like Yastrzemski, Rice spent his entire career in Boston, where he proved himself as one of the most dangerous power hitters of his generation. Over a 12-year period from 1975- 1986, Rice hit 351 home runs. During that period, only Mike Schmidt and Dave Kingman hit more homers. Rice led the American League in home runs three times and slugging twice during that span.

Rice helped lead Boston to two World Series appearances, and although he didn’t play in the ’75 World Series due to injury, he hit .333 in seven games against the Mets in 1986.

Rice’s best season came in 1978, when he was named the AL’s Most Valuable Player. Rice led the major leagues with 46 home runs, becoming the first Red Sox to hit that many home runs in a single season since Jimmie Foxx hit 50 in 1938. No AL hitter had clubbed that many home runs in a single season since Harmon Killebrew swatted 49 for the Twins in 1969.

Rice was more than just a one-dimensional, all-or-nothing slugger. He hit over .300 seven times and ranked among the top 10 in the AL in average six times. An eight-time all-star, Rice finished among the top five in AL MVP voting in six seasons and won two AL Silver Sluggers. Though he wasn’t known for his prowess in the field, Rice ranked among the top five AL left fielders in assists 11 times and putouts seven times.

"I'd be staring him down, he'd be staring right back and I'm telling you there was no man I wanted to face less than Jim Rice. He was the strongest, toughest guy, most competitive man I ever faced. "
Goose Gossage

Career stats

Year Inducted: 2009
Primary Team: Boston Red Sox
Position Played: Left Fielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Anderson, South Carolina
Birth year: 1953
Played for:
Boston Red Sox (1974-1989)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG