Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Jim Rice
Jim Rice was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 2nd year of eligibility, 2000, with 79.6% of the vote.
Five highlights of Jim Rice's career:
The first two tables below present Jim Rice's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.
- In 1974, Jim Rice won an International League (AAA) Triple Crown playing for Pawtucket (.337, 25 HR, 93 RBI) and was named International League Rookie of the Year and MVP, and the Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year. Rice finished second in American League Rookie-of-the-Year voting the following season.
- Jim Rice was named to eight All-Star teams. He was voted an American League All-Star starter four times. He received MVP votes eight times, with six top-5 finishes, and won two Silver Sluggers.
- Jim Rice was voted the American League Most Valuable Player in 1978. That season, Rice batted .315/.370/.600 and led the league in slugging percentage, OPS (.970), hits (213), triples (15), home runs (46), RBI (139), and total bases (406). At the time, Rice's 406 total bases in 1978 were the most since Stan Musial in 1948 and the most by an American League player since Joe DiMaggio in 1937.
- Jim Rice led the American League in total bases four times, in home runs three times, in RBI and slugging percentage twice each, and in hits, triples, and OPS once each (all in 1978).
- One of the most famous photos of Jim Rice - here - is of him cradling a young fan who had been struck in the head by a line drive on August 7, 1982. Rice jumped into the stands and carried the injured boy to the trainers' room. The Red Sox team doctor, Arthur Pappas, said of the boy that Rice "certainly helped him very considerably."
Jim Rice: One of the Best Hitters of His Generation
Jim Rice's Hall-of-Fame case was based primarily on his batting performance through his prime. From 1975 - 1986, Jim Rice had an average Triple Crown line per 162 games of .304/33/118. That's impressive, but Triple Crown stats can be misleading and need to be put into context.
The top 10 players in batting wins over non-pitcher average from 1975 through 1986 are shown next.
Positional Average excludes pitcher offense
Measured by batting wins over non-pitcher average, Jim Rice was one of the top 10 batters over this 12-year period. Two things strike me as noteworthy about this table. First, three players in the above table were the starting outfield for the Boston Red Sox for much of the first half of this time period.
Second, Jim Rice is second in batting wins in the previous table. This segues into the final section of this article.
Jim Rice: One of the Best Players of His Generation
During his prime, Jim Rice had two key things going for him. First, as noted above, he was an excellent hitter. Second, Jim Rice was also an exceptionally durable player. From 1975 - 1986, Jim Rice played in 1,766 games with 7,754 plate appearances, averages of 147 games and 646 PA per season - and that includes 108 games and 495 PA in 1981, which represented appearing in every Red Sox game during that strike-shortened season. Because of his durability, Jim Rice looks very good when measured against replacement level.
The final table of this article, then, shows the top 10 players in major-league baseball from 1975 through 1986 as measured by pWins over replacement level (pWORL).
Article last updated: February 3, 2020
All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.
List of Articles