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Think good thoughts for Jim Ed

 

UPDATE: He's in!

Rice, the fierce and feared slugger who spent his entire 16-year major league career with the Red Sox, was at last elected to to the Baseball Hall of Fame this afternoon on his 15th -- and final -- season on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot. Rice was named on 76.4 percent of the ballots. Seventy-five percent is required for induction. Rice received 412 of 539 votes, just seven more than the minimum amount he needed.

He will be joined in this year's class by Rickey Henderson, who spent 25 years in the majors and ranks as the all-time leader in runs (2,995) and stolen bases (1,406), and who is widely regarded as the best leadoff hitter of all time. In his first year on the ballot, the 50-year-old Henderson received 94.8 percent of the vote.

Rice, who batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBIs from 1974-89 while continuing the Red Sox' tradition of superstar left fielders, is the first player to be elected in his final year of BBWAA eligibility since 1975, when longtime Pirates star Ralph Kiner was chosen.

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The news is due at about 2 this afternoon on whether Jim Rice, during his last appearance on the writers' ballot, has made it into Cooperstown.

Nick Cafardo breaks it down:

If you only consider some of the most traditional statistics, batting average, homers, RBIs, slugging, and total bases, [the Washington Post's Tom] Boswell points out that Rice had 11 titles in those five categories, one more than Hall of Fame ex-teammate Carl Yastrzemski.

Rice obviously is not in the top echelon there: Babe Ruth had 38 wins in those categories, Ted Williams 29, Hank Aaron 22, and Stan Musial 20.

But among the other names in Rice's vicinity are Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays with 13, Ralph Kiner with 12, and Harmon Killebrew with 10.

And Rice has more wins in those categories than Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, and Willie McCovey (8), George Brett and Duke Snider (7), Ernie Banks (6), Billy Williams (5), Roberto Clemente, Kirby Puckett, and Willie Stargell (4), Orlando Cepeda and Al Kaline (3), Eddie Murray and Dave Winfield (2), Cal Ripken (1), and Tony Perez (0).

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