Well, Jim Ed is on the ballot yet again – as it should be. Although I have no high hopes he’ll make it in. I understand he’s a question mark for people who actually know about the game, but he put up great numbers over a good amount of time. Unfortunately, Jim never played the game with the sports writers during his career and they’re getting their payback every year his name is on the ballot. (Although, to be fair, a lot of new blood is running through the voters for the HoF and Rice has received a LOT more support from the writers than in past years.)
Here’s a guy who dominated the league in hitting when he played. In 15 years, he was as all star 8 times, he was the American League MVP in ’78 (and in the top ten in MVP voting 6 times) and he earned two silver sluggers. Three years he led the league in homeruns…two years he led the league in rbi…but everyone has read these stats over and over.
Let’s talk comparisons. Tony Perez is in the HoF. Tony Perez who, in 23 years in the league hit 379 homeruns and 1652 rbi. Rice played 8 years less than Perez and hit 382 homeruns and 1451 rbi. Jim Ed’s slugging percentage was much better than Perez’s (.502 compared to .462). Orlando Cepada is another HoF who Rice looks better than…yet Jim Ed is still waiting for the call.
What gives? (To be fair, the Veterans Committee voted Cepada in…seemingly the only way Rice is getting in as well.)
Rice deserves the Hall of Fame as much as (and actually more than) these two and others already there. This isn’t to take away from Perez, Cepeda or anyone else…but fair is fair. If there is no bias against Rice, why isn’t he in there when these fellas are?