My favorite baseball player Jim Rice is being inducted into the hall of fame today and I’m thriled. I loved Jim Rice. I was 10 years old in 1978, and during those formative kid baseball years Jim Rice was the most feared hitter in baseball, was black, and in Boston that was no small thing, and had my name, “Jim” ok, I had his name. He was my hero!
Everytime Jim Rice would come to the plate I would be glued to the radio or TV 38 hoping for the the big home run. I felt a certain connection to Jim Rice. I would be him in our neighborhood games. Jim Rice was everything to me.
My grandfather was a diehard Redsox fan. He would watch everygame on TV and when he couldn’t watch he would listen on the radio. It was through him, back in the 70’s, that I became part of Redsox Nation. It was through him, Jim Rice became my first hero.
Almost every kid in New England worshiped #14, Jim Rice. 85% of all kids in New England had a Jim Rice poster on their wall. We all copied his swing and argued who got to be him in lot games and went crazy when he hit one out of the “pahk”
I remember the year he signed one of the largest contracts in Baseball, 5 million dollars. Chump change by todays standards, but as far as I was concerened he was worth every penny.
I’m sure I’m like many today, if it weren’t for my affinity for my beloved childhood team I wouldn’t watch much baseball. I’ve never rooted for anyone to make the Hall of Fame. I find the baseball steroids scandal and the complete lack of accountability taken by commissioner Bud Selig deplorable. But for today, none of that will matter to me. My first idol, and childhood hero is being enshrined into Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. I will be on the couch watching just like every other 40 year old guy who wore is number in Little League, copied his stance and had his poster on their wall.
It’s a big day for Jim. Both Jim’s!