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After 15 long years of waiting, former Red Sox left fielder Jim Rice was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame today. This was Rice’s last chance to be elected to the Hall by the Baseball Writers Association of America or he would have had to get in through the veteran’s committee, a much harder task. Rice was on just more than 76% of ballots (75% is needed to make the Hall) and joins Rickey Henderson in the Class of 2009.
Rice never reached 400 home runs, which is part of his problem with some voters. But…here are the big stats: .298 batting average, 382 home runs, 1,451 RBIs, 2,452 hits, and 373 doubles. Rice was a dominant force from 1975-1986, but his career fell off the face of the earth after the age of 34, and he retired after a 16-year career in 1989.
The former Sox slugger was in the top-5 of the MVP voting five times, and won it in 1978 when he hit 46 home runs with 139 RBI and 121 runs scored.