Jim Rice was only 14 votes short of the 75 percent needed for election, but he figures to meet the standard next year in his 15th and final appearance on the writers' ballot, even with Rickey Henderson becoming eligible for the first time.
Rice led the AL in home runs three times (1977, 1978, 1983), in RBI twice (1978, 1983), in slugging percentage twice (1977, 1978), and in total bases four times (1977-1979, 1983). He also picked up Silver Slugger awards in 1983 and 1984 (the award was created in 1980). Rice hit at least 39 home runs in a season four times, had eight 100 RBI seasons, four seasons with 200+ hits and batted over .300 seven times. He finished his 16-year career with a .298 batting average, 382 home runs (52nd best of all-time), 1451 RBIs (51st), 1249 runs scored, 2452 hits (91st), and 4129 total bases (61st). He was an American League All-Star eight times (1977-1980, 1983-1986). In addition to winning the American League MVP award in 1978, he finished in the top 5 in MVP voting five other times (1975, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986).
Rice is the only player in major league history to record over 200 hits and at the same time having 39 or more HRs for three consecutive years. He is tied for the American League record of leading the league in total bases for three straight seasons, and was one of three A.L. players to have three straight seasons of hitting at least 39 home runs while batting .315 or higher. According to the web site, Rice ranked among the league leaders in various batting categories more than 100 times during his career. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists., .