Jim Rice played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox from 1974 to 1989. An 8-time American League All-Star, he was named the AL's MVP in 1978 after becoming the first major league player in 19 years to hit for 400 total bases, and went on to become the ninth player to lead the major leagues in total bases in consecutive seasons, and join Ty Cobb as one of two players to lead the AL in total bases three years in a row. He batted .300 seven times, collected 100 RBIs eight times and 200 hits four times, and had eleven seasons with 20 home runs, also leading the league in home runs three times, RBIs and slugging average twice each.
In the late 1970s he was part of one of the sport's great outfields along with Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans, who was his teammate for his entire career; Rice continued the tradition of his predecessors Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski as a power-hitting left fielder who played his entire career for the Red Sox. He ended his career with a .502 slugging average, and then ranked tenth in AL history with 382 home runs; his career marks in homers, hits (2,452), RBI (1,451) and total bases (4,129) remain Red Sox records for a right-handed hitter, with Evans eventually surpassing his Boston records for career runs scored, at bats and extra base hits by a right-handed hitter. When Rice retired, his 1,503 career games in left field ranked seventh in AL history. Rice was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26, 2009.
Rice was promoted in the Red Sox organization to be a full-time player in 19 75, and finished in second place for the American League's Rookie of the Year honors, and third in the Most Valuable Player voting, after he finished the season with 174 base hits, 102 runs batted in, a .309 batting average and 22 home run; Lynn won both awards. The Red Sox won the AL's East Division, but Rice did not play in either the League Championship Series or World Series because of a wrist injury sustained during the last week of the regular season when he was hit by a pitch. A disappointed Rice appeared during the postseason player introductions, in uniform and without the cast on his wrist, which he had removed the night before, informing the team that he was fit to play. Red Sox management, however, persuaded him that healing would be in the best future interest of both Rice and the team. The Red Sox went on to lose the World Series, 4 games to 3, to the Cincinnati Reds of the National League.
In 1978, Rice won the MVP award in a campaign where he hit .315 (third in the league) and led the league in home runs (46), RBI (139), hits (213), triples (15) and slugging average (.600). He is one of only two AL players ever to lead his league in both triples and home runs in the same season, and he remains the only player ever to lead the major leagues in triples, home runs and RBIs in the same season. His 406 total bases that year were the most in the AL since Joe DiMaggio had 418 in 1937, and it made Rice the first major leaguer with 400 or more total bases since Hank Aaron's 400 in 1959. This feat wasn't repeated again until 1997, when Larry Walker had 409 in the NL. No AL player has done it since Rice in 1978, and his total remains the third highest by an AL right-handed hitter, behind DiMaggio and Jimmie Foxx.
In 1986, Rice had 200 hits, batted .324, and had 110 RBIs. The Red Sox made it to the World Series for the second time during his career. This time, Rice played in all 14 postseason games, where he collected 14 hits, including two home runs. He also scored 14 runs and drove in six. The 14 runs Rice scored is the fifth most recorded by an individual during a single year's postseason play. The Red Sox went on to lose the World Series to the New York Mets, 4 games to 3, the fourth consecutive Series appearance by Boston which they lost in seven games.Rice's number 14 was retired by the Red Sox in a pre-game ceremony on July 28, 2009.