Sunday, January 31, 2010

1976 Topps #340 - Jim Rice

  • Jim Rice was a left fielder and designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox from 1974-1989. Rice was drafted by the Red Sox in 1971 and played in the minors from 1971-1974. He was called up in August 1974 and batted .269 in 24 games.

  • Jim's excellent rookie season was overshadowed by teammate Fred Lynn. Rice batted .309 with 22 HR and 102 RBI in 144 games in 1975. He injured his wrist at the end of the '75 season and missed the ALCS and World Series. Jim was second in Rookie of the Year voting -- he probably would have won in most other years -- and third in MVP voting. Jim Rice: Boston's 'Other' Rookie - December 1975 Baseball Digest

  • Rice batted .282 with 25 HR and 85 RBI in 1976. Jim led the AL in home runs with 39 in 1977. He batted .320 and had 120 RBI. Rice was an AL All Star for the first time in 1977 (he was 1 for 2) and finished 4th in MVP voting.

  • Jim's best year was in 1978. He led the AL in games (163), at bats (677), hits (213), triples (15), home runs (46), RBI (139), and slugging (.600). Rice was the starting LF in the All Star Game (he went 0 for 4) and was the AL Most Valuable Player. Jim Rice: The Batter Pitchers Hate to Face - August 1978 Baseball Digest

  • Rice had another good year in 1979, batting .325 with 39 HR and 130 RBI. He went 1 for 5 as the starting RF in the All Star Game and was 5th in MVP voting. Jim missed about 5 weeks of the 1980 season with an injury and batted .294 with 24 HR and 86 RBI in 122 games. He was an AL All Star but didn't play due to injury.

  • Jim's numbers weren't all that great (by his standards) in 1981. In the strike-shortened season he batted .284 with 17 HR and 62 RBI in 108 games. Rice's stats took an upward climb in 1982 (.309, 24 HR, 97 RBI). On August 7, 1982, in a nationally televised game, Rice came to the aid of a young child who had been hit by a Dave Stapleton foul ball. He scooped up the child and carried him down to the Boston clubhouse where he was treated. A news story is here (embedding is disabled).

  • Rice was an All Star again in 1983. He started in LF and went 2 for 4 with a run and a RBI. Jim batted .305 and led the AL with 39 HR and 126 RBI. Rice won the Silver Slugger Award and was 4th in MVP voting. In 1984 Jim was an All Star (he struck out as a pinch hitter) and batted .280 with 28 HR and 122 RBI. Jim Rice: He's Alone in the Fenway Spotlight - July 1984 Baseball Digest. Rice batted .291 with 27 HR and 103 RBI in 1985. He also was an All Star again (0 for 3 as the starting left fielder).

  • Jim finally got a chance to play in the post season in 1986. He had a good year, batting .324 with 20 HR and 120 RBI. Rice finished third in MVP voting behind teammate Roger Clemens and Don Mattingly. Jim batted .161 in the ALCS but homered twice and knocked in six runs. He batted .333 in the World Series. Jim was an All Star for the final time in 1986 (he struck out as a pinch hitter).

  • Jim had injury problems (an injured elbow) in 1987 and had several time periods where he missed 7-10 days. In 108 games Rice batted .277 with 13 HR and 62 RBI. Jim Rice: He Prefers to Avoid the Spotlight - September 1987 Baseball Digest. In 1988 Rice batted .264 with 15 HR and 72 RBI. Is it Twilight Time? - March 28, 1988 Sports Illustrated. He had knee surgery and eye problems in 1989. Jim played in only 56 games in 1989 and batted .234 with 3 HR and 28 RBI. He played in his last game on August 8 and retired after the season.

  • After his retirement Rice was a roving hitting coach for the Red Sox from 1992-1994. He was ahitting instructor from 1995-2000 and has been an instructional batting coach in the Red Sox from 2001 to the present. He is also an analyst for the New England Sports Network. Jim was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2009.

  • Liked to face: Steve Stone (.568 in 37 AB); Storm Davis (.467 in 30 AB); Scott McGregor (.429 in 42 AB)

  • Hated to face: Danny Darwin (.109 in 46 AB); Nolan Ryan (.150 in 40 AB); Jimmy Key (.125 in 24 AB)

1 comment:

  1. Rice missed out on the 1975 post-season by virtue of being hit on the hand/wrist by a fastball from Verne Ruhle of the Tigers.