From his rookie year to his final season, here are Hall of Famer Jim Rice’s top seven moments as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Now, with the regular season well underway, we highlight a Red Sox legend, Hall of Famer, and All-Time Fan Favorite: number fourteen, Jim Rice. Here are his top seven moments as a member of Red Sox Nation:
Number Seven: 2009 Induction Into the Baseball Hall of Fame
In 2009, on his final year of eligibility, Jim Rice received Major League Baseball’s highest honor and joined the game’s elite in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rice played sixteen seasons in the MLB, all of them with the Red Sox. He retired in 1989, with 382 home runs, 2,452 hits, 1,451 RBIS, and a career batting average of .298. A feared slugger, Rice was an eight-time All Star, and won the American League MVP Award in 1978.
Rice was also a solid defenseman and carried on the legacy of his predecessors: fellow Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, in left field. Rice became the ninth member of the Boston Red Sox to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and had his jersey number fourteen retired by the team that same year.
Number Six: His Final Home Run
Rice belted the final home run of his career, over the Green Monster, against the Chicago White Sox on April 25, 1989. With Roger Clemens on the mound for the Red Sox, and Melido Perez for the White Sox, Boston would go on to beat Chicago 11-0.
Rice only played 56 games in 1989 and recorded only 209 at-bats. He finished the season with 49 hits, three home runs, and 28 RBIS. He made his final MLB appearance on August 3, 1989, and a chapter of Red Sox history came to a close.
Number Five: Not Happy About Being Pinch-Hit For
On July 20, 1988, Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan decided to pinch-hit shortstop Spike Owen for Jim Rice. According to Bleacher Report, Ellis Burks was on first base, and Morgan wanted Owen to bunt Burks to second because the slugger Rice never learned how to properly do so. Rice was not happy, to say the least. He returned to the dugout and allegedly took Morgan by the shoulders and forced him down and out of the dugout. No punches were thrown, however, Rice was suspended for three games.
Now, of course, I don’t condone violence, and Rice had every right to be suspended. However, there is something to say about a guy who gets so upset when taken out of the game. The word for it is either passionate or crazy, or both. Either way, that’s the kind of competitor and player I want to have on my team and that’s why it is one of Jim Rice’s all-time moments.
Number Four: Saving A Child From The Stands
On August 7, 1982, the Red Sox squared off against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. In the fourth inning, Red Sox shortstop Dave Stapleton took to the plate, and hit a line-drive foul ball into the stands, hitting a young fan in the head. Right after it happened, Jim Rice went into the stands and took the child down into the locker room where he received instant medical care and, as the child, now adult, says in the above video, he probably saved his life.
Number Three: The 1983 All-Star Game
The above video is long, but it is well worth the watch. With the Giants’ Atlee Hammaker on the mound for the National League, the third inning of the 1983 All-Star is a perfect look into the offensive dominance of the American League hitters.
Our own Jim Rice lead off the inning with a solo shot into the left field bleachers. Then future Hall of Famer George Brett came to the plate and hit a triple into center field, followed by a single by fellow future Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. Then Manny Trillio and future Hall of Famer Rod Carew hit a pair of singles to score Winfield. On the throw home to try and get Winfield, Trillio and Carew advanced to second and third, leaving two outs and two runners in scoring position for future Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Hammaker then intentionally walked Yount to load the bases with two outs to face former Red Sox fan-favorite Fred Lynn, who was then with the California Angels. Then, Lynn made history, by hitting the first grand slam in the history of the MLB All-Star Game. It was a good night for Red Sox past and present.
Number Two: 1975
Simply put, the 1975 season is one that will go down in Red Sox history. It is where fans were introduced to the future of baseball in the form of the “Gold Dust Twins” : Jim Rice and Fred Lynn.
The two outfielders made their rookie debut in 1975. As a rookie, Rice hit 22 home runs, 174 hits, 102 RBIs, and recorded a .309 batting average. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year Voting and third in the Most Valuable Player voting, losing both to his fellow rookie, Fred Lynn.
Lynn has a stellar rookie year, hitting 21 home runs, 175 hits, 105 RBIs, and an astounding .331 batting average. He would win a Gold Glove and earn his first All-Star selection.
Here’s an advertisement that Rice and Lynn did for the Navy in 1976:
Number One: Game 7 of the 1986 ALCS
Our number one Jim Rice moment has to be his three-run home run in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. After a hard fought six games agains the California Angels, the Red Sox led by three runs going into the bottom of the fourth inning. Then Jim Rice took to the plate, belting one over the Green Monster off John Candelaria to give the Red Sox a 7-0 lead. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 8-1 and earn a trip to the 1986 World Series.