Finally, Jim Rice Receives His Well-Earned Immortality

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“…finally I am Jim Rice, called a Baseball Hall of Famer!”

After many years of waiting, Anderson’s Jim Rice has received his well-earned Immortality.   It took 15 years, but he finally made it.

Today, Jim Rice was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“…No, I am a husband called ‘Rice,'” said the erstwhile right-handed slugger. “I’m a father called ‘Dad.’ I’m a brother called ‘Ed.’ I’m an uncle called ‘Uncle Ed.’ I’m a grandfather called ‘Papa.’ I’m a friend that doesn’t call — some of my friends know that. Finally, I do mean finally — I am Jim Rice, called a baseball Hall of Famer.”…”

Jim Rice is one of the few MLB players I followed for their entire career.  I remember the year he was called up to the Red Sox.  That’s all the local paper could talk about was this incredible young ball player who was a fitting successor to Carl Yastrezemski, who was the successor to my all time hero, Ted Williams.

Everyone in the upstate of SC who followed baseball knew Jim Rice would one day end up in the Hall of Fame.  We just never thought it would take this long.

Henderson & Rice Immortals  (AP Photo)
Henderson & Rice Immortals (AP Photo)

“…”In the Minor Leagues, I went from being Ed Rice to being Jim Rice,” said Rice. “I was a quiet leader, not a follower. I played through the pain and I suffered. No regrets. Well, maybe those last few at-bats in 1989 where I saw my .300 [career] average slip to .298 — that I do regret.”

But those two points, as it turned out, would not keep Rice out of Cooperstown.

His plaque, which was read by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, summarized some of his accomplishments, including, “With titanic strength and an innate ability to hit to all fields, hit .298 with 382 homers, 1,451 runs batted in, the only player ever with three straight 35-home run and 200-hit seasons. Hit 20 or more home runs 11 times and totaled eight 100-RBI seasons.”

Rice closed out the day with appreciative awe.

“Here we are in 2009 and I’m standing amongst baseball elite in front of my family, friends and fans, proudly accepting baseball’s pinnacle achievement,” said Rice. “I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be than to be right here, right now, with you and you. Thank you.”

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