Sean McAdam of ESPN.com makes a compelling case for Jim Rice's enshrinement to the Hall of Fame:
For a period of 12 years -- 1975-86 -- Rice led all American League players in 12 different offensive categories, including home runs (350), RBI (1,276), total bases (3,670), slugging percentage (.520), runs (1,098) and hits (2,145).
In that span, his typical season looked something like this: 29 homers, 106 RBI, 91 runs scored and an average above .300.
But what really elevates the case for Rice is context. He led every player in his league in virtually every significant offensive category for a dozen years. And when you add in all of the National League players from the same era, Rice still leads in five categories and finishes second in three others.
First or second in eight different categories for a dozen years? That sounds plenty dominant enough for me.
It's been suggested that if Rice had found a way to add 18 homers to his career total and lifted his career batting average of .298 two measly points, that his election would be guaranteed. But such benchmarks are superficial and ever-changing.
Better to view Rice through his own era when, in addition to winning the AL MVP in 1978, Rice finished in the top five in AL MVP voting five other times. He led the AL in homers three times and twice led the league in RBI.
Full story at the link above. I'm going to work on my Jack Morris case.