In which I refuse to take a position on the whole Jim Ed in the Hall debate

December 30th, 2006 → 12:13 pm @ // 6 Comments

I grew up loving Jim Rice. I found him to be nothing but pleasant when I was working on Feeding the Monster. And he’s one hell of a snazzy dresser.

But I just don’t feel I know enough to make any kind of informed decision about whether he deserves to be in the Hall. I know: ignorance doesn’t keep many writers from voting (*cough* George King *cough*). And I see both sides of the argument here. Rice has the MVP award (which isn’t worth a whole lot in my book) and it’s not hard to see the merit in the viewpoint that he was the most dominant hitter in the AL for about a decade. I also see the merit in the argument that if you take Rice out of Fenway, he’s not nearly as fearsome a force.

Finally, I think Dwight Evans was a better player, and nobody’s talking about him going in the Hall. He was more durable (20 seasons vs. 16), had a higher OBP (.370 vs. .352) and had three more career homers (385 vs. 382). And during those 10 years in which Rice was the dominant hitter in the AL, Dewey was the best rightfielder. He deservedly won eight (out of 10) Gold Gloves between 1976 and 1985, and that was playing in perhaps the toughest right field in the game. There were many more ways in which Dewey could alter a game.

Anyway, there it is. I know lots of you have passionate views about this. So have it.


Post Categories: Dwight Evans & Hall of Fame & Jim Rice

6 Comments → “In which I refuse to take a position on the whole Jim Ed in the Hall debate”


  1. HFXBOB

    10 years ago

    I think Ian Browne makes an excellent case for Rice’s Hall worthiness in his article on the Red Sox website. The numbers that Browne rolls out speak for themselves: in the period from 1975-1986 Rice led the AL in almost every offensive category, and he even led in outfield assists. If you’re the best offensive player in your league over a twelve-year stretch should that get you in the Hall? I say yes.

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  2. PatsFanDK

    10 years ago

    What frustrates me about the HOF is that they reward longevity way too much. It should be about greatness – were you an elite player for an extended period? In Rice’s case, yes. Some may argue he didn’t do it long enough. However, suppose Rice squeezed out a couple more mediocre seasons and ended up with over 400 HR and close to 1600 RBI. He would have a much better chance of getting in.

    I think the system is flawed. They reward players for hitting “threshold” numbers like 500 homers and 300 wins. There are some 300 game winners that shouldn’t be in (Don Sutton comes to mind) and good thing McGwire won’t get in, because he was as one dimensional as it gets.

    Who’s with me on this?

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  3. HFXBOB

    10 years ago

    PatsFanDK: I think you’re bang on, longevity is given too much weight. If Rice doesn’t get in it will clinch that point. Twelve years at the top of the game should be enough.

    Reply

  4. bmoseley07

    10 years ago

    I disagree. Rice had only 8 seasons of Hall of Fame worthiness and they weren’t even in a row. The guy was all but missing in his prime years from 1980-1982 and dropped off when he was only 33. That doesn’t present me with the makings on a Hall of Famer.

    PatsFanDk, you say that they put too much emphasis on longevity and benchmarks while I disagree. I don’t like benchmarks, but I think to be a HOFer you have to have three qualities: greatness, longevity and consistency. Cal Rikpken Jr. and Tony Gwynn have those. Rice doesn’t. If he instead was great in those three missing years in his 20’s, I’d vote him in, but for me, it’s greatness over a period of time, that’s how you mark worthiness.

    I actually wrote a whole article about this, so if you want to read my whole counter argument, you can here.

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  5. PatsFanDK

    10 years ago

    How many seasons of HOF worthiness did Sandy Koufax have? Only 5 or 6. He got in easily. He only had 166 career wins. I think Koufax deserves to be in because he was the best in the game for half a decade. Rice was perhaps the most feared hitter in the AL for close to a decade and he has the numbers to back it up. There are plenty of players without the “longevity” aspect that are in or should be in.

    The bottom line is the HOF is inconsistent with their criteria. BTW, Ripken and Gwynn should be unanimous selections.

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  6. bmoseley07

    10 years ago

    I agree that Sandy Koufax should be in, but Koufax’s 6 years were all in row and his stats and skillset was incredibly better than any challenger. Rice’s dominance doesn’t equal Koufax’s.

    “The bottom line is the HOF is inconsistent with their criteria.” I completely agree with that and that’s one reason why I am questioning the induction of Rice.

    Also agree that Ripken and Gwynn should be unanimous as well. And I’ll take that even further and say that anybody suspected of steriod use (i.e. Mark McGwire) shouldn’t be elected until their name is cleared- that is, if it gets cleared. And think this second ballot bullshit is a disgrace. A HOFer is a HOFer, whether the get in ballot 1 or ballot 2 is a moot point.

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