Perhaps I'm merely biased and simply love the idea of another Red Sox star being inshrined into baseball's holyland, but when faced with the question as to whether or not Jim Rice should be voted into the Hall of Fame this year my answer is a resounding Y-E-S!
The voting writers claim that in order to be considered as a candidate for Cooperstown you must be a "dominating" player of your generation. Here are several reasons why Jim Rice was just that:
Career Prime: During the 12 years of Jim Rice's prime (1975-86), he hit at a .303 clip while averaging over 30 HRs and 107 RBI a season. He hit over .315 4 times, 4 times had more than 120 RBI, and also hit 39 or more homeruns 4 times. That is outstanding.
All-star teams: Jim Rice was selected to 8 All star teams during those 12 years in his prime. The four years he wasn't selected were 1975: finished 3rd in MVP voting and 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting; 1976: common Sophomore slump (still hit 25 HRs); 1981: injured, only accumulated 451 ABs; and 1982: WON THE MVP.
MVP Caliber: In addition to winning the MVP in '78, he earned a top-5 spot in the MVP voting 5 other times as well as votes in 2 other years (13th and 19th place).
Other honors: Rice twice won the silver slugger award for best hitter at his position and in his only World Series appearance against the Mets in 1986 hit .333 with 6 walk, 6 runs, a double, and a triple in 27 ABs.
15 years has been a long time to wait, but a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and 15th ballot inductee are both inshrined together. Let the anxiety begin.