I sit here on the eve of MY Baseball Hall of Fame induction. No, I am not crazy, I understand I never played a MLB game, but none the less, this is mine. This is all 35 yr old + Hall of Fame induction..our guy, Jim Rice FINALLY enters Cooperstown.
All the arguments are over, all the comparisons, all the what ifs...gone on this day. Jim Rice HOFer 2009.
I sat, game after game in 1978 in my Bradlees Red Sox hat. You know the one, the ones from the 70's with the little baseballs on the cap, with Red Sox between the stitches, not the official ones so available now. I watched Jim Rice demolish the ball. Channel 38 and Channel 6 were my heaven. Jim Rice was the man.
I went to my 1st Sox game that year..I saw Jim Rice larger then life, Number 14 stood like a giant to me...there he was..on the Fenway Green.
I imitated that slight crouch on the little league field in Sunset Park, I swore at 10 yrs old it helped.
That was the year I truly became a baseball fan. Jim Rice was a huge part of that.
1986..oh 1986..that was the year. Dave Henderson took us there...Jim Rice made sure the trip wasn't wasted. I remember vividly the snap of his wrist when he caught the 2nd out in the 9th inning game 6..this was it..WE ARE WORLD CHAMPS...well..Calvin Schiraldi/Bob Stanley/Rich Gedman/Mookie Wilson took care of that.
Tomorrow is the day I probably will cry like a baby because MY guy is going into the Hall of Fame. MY guy has finally been accepted after 15 too long years. MY baseball hero is going in and I couldn't be prouder. Congratulations Jim, congratulations for a well deserved honor. Congratulations for doing it your way. I am proud to have grown up idolizing you, proud that on and off the field you made me realize year after year why I was and am a die hard Red Sox Fan. My sports life is better because of you Jim..THANK YOU! Thank you for inducting ME into the Hall of Fame.