Jul 25, 2009
Move Over Jim, You're Going to Have Company!
Congratulations to Jim Rice for being inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame at this weekend’s ceremonies! Also congratulations to Andre Dawson and his fans for his induction next year!
Am I congratulating Andre and his fans too soon? Am I being too optimistic? No, after all I am a long-life Cubs fan (this is the year). Jim Rice's induction pretty much seals Andre Dawson a place in the Hall of Fame next year.
While I believe Rice undoubtedly deserves his HOF plaque, all of the same arguments of Andre Dawson nay-sayers have also plagued Rice over his career. Being a free swinger, low on-base percentage (OBP), and lack of base on balls (BB) have been the arguments against The Hawk for the hall.
While Rice's career OBP (.352 to .323) and BB (670 to 589) are higher, I don't think it is enough of a disparency to make that a valid argument anymore.
However, there are two areas that clearly indicate Rice created more outs for his team in his career than Andre - Strikeouts and Double Plays Grounded Into.*
Let's compare the two players.
Free Swingers (Struck out over 100 times a season):
Andre Dawson - 3 times (1978, 1979, & 1987)
Jim Rice - 6 times (1975-1978, 1983 & 1984)
*Andre played a total of 21 seasons, Rice 16.
Double Plays Grounded Into in Career:
Andre Dawson - 217
Jim Rice - 315 (6th place all-time)
*Andre finished in the top 10 in the league in this category only three times (1989, 1993, & 1994). By 1993 and 1994 his knees were shot from years of diving for the ball in the outfield. Rice, however, finished in the top 10 eleven times of his 16-year career; he was actually 1st four years in a row (1982-1985).
I've always rooted for Rice and respected what he did in his career, I'm only pointing out his weaknesses to show that if Hall of Fame voters are going to accept him despite these flaws, they have to accept Andre!