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Blog Entry

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Posted on: January 12, 2009 2:16 pm

No disrespect to Rickey Henderson, who is a first-ballot Hall of Famer in anybody's book, but the big story on Monday was the election of former Boston slugger Jim Rice into baseball's museum.

Everybody knew Henderson would be voted in, though I must admit, I thought his vote total was a little low. Henderson was named on 94.8 percent of the ballots. As for that other 5.2 percent who didn't vote for him, I'm not sure what game they were watching over the past 20 or so years. Henderson indisputably is the greatest, most versatile leadoff man in the game's history.

Rice eked in on his last year of eligibility on the ballot with 76.4 percent of the vote (players on the ballot need 75 percent for enshrinement). It's been a long, agonizing wait for Rice, but it doesn't matter now. Whether a guy gets elected to Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, eighth or 15th, he's still a Hall of Famer.

I've thought Rice was a Hall of Famer ever since I first started voting 10 years ago, and I'm glad he's finally in. Maybe he wasn't brilliant over 20 years, but for the decade or so during which he was at his best, there's no question he was one of the most dominant players of his era. He was the 1978 American League Most Valuable Player, and he finished among the top five in AL MVP voting on five other occasions.

Whether others didn't vote for him because they viewed his Fenway Park numbers as skewed, whether they had run-ins with a player most people would put on the All-Jerk team or what, I'm not sure. But any way you cut it, Rice deserves to be in Cooperstown.

And now, come July, he will.

Category: MLB

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:36 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality - It's about time!!

I have to agree, Rice should have been selected a long time ago. Over a 10 year span he averaged .300, 30 HR and 100 RBI. How many guys can attest to those numbers? I believe that kind of dominance in a era is what defines a hall of famer. Hats off to both Rice and Henderson for an honor well-deserved.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:24 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Congrats Jimmy!    Your finally in!

Can't wait to see number 14 up in right field!

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:23 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

My guess is a few voters remember the Rickey Henderson who tried to play on independent league single A teams to come back and thought that diminished his legacy. For the record, I think that's one of the dumbest arguments every, but I can't imagine another reason for not voting Henderson in, unless maybe they're the kind of voter that turns in an empty ballot every year out of some sort of protest or another?

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:22 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Congrats on these two making into Cooperstown.  They are both great players.  Unfortunately, the “unanimous” and “first-ballot” words must always come up this time of year.  The highest percentage ever belongs to Tom Seaver who received votes from 425 voters out of 430 for 98.84%.  Although Tom was an unbelievable pitcher, I would think most would argue that some of the others players in history deserve this distinction a bit more: Babe Ruth (95.13%), Henry Aaron (97.83%), or Willie Mays (94.68%) to name a few.  The bottom line is, NO ONE will ever be a unanimous hall of fame inductee for the simple point that no one ever has.  I, personally, believe they should not report the actual percentages, just report if a man receives < or > 75% to get inducted.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:17 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

if rice is in the hall it seriously lowers standards..albert belle has to be in..rice had a n 850 ops..give me a break..hes in because he played for boston..the man should be paying admission as his only way in..its supposed to be great players not very good..belle was a better player

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:14 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

As a Yankees fan, I'm glad Rice finally got the hall vote. Those Red Sox teams had alot to look out for whether it was Dewey's arm, Fred Lynn or Yaz in the clutch, or Fisk hitting when you least expected it. But, there was nothing scarier that Rice coming up with runners on.

Of course, Ricky deserves the first ballot entrance, and I can't believe those 5.2% that didn't vote for him are even allowed to vote for the hall.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2009 4:13 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Both deserving and for Jim Rice it is long overdue. Now if we could only get some production out of the hall of famers that can vote on players that have been passed over…

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2009 3:45 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Rickey thinks Rickey should have gotten closer to 100% of the vote.

Since: May 29, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2009 2:50 pm

Rickey, Rice and immortality

Congrats to a very deserving individual

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