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Rice Putting

By the time you read this on Monday, Jim Rice should be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I think he's deserving. There is an ongoing debate regarding Rice's Hall worthiness among members of the blogosphere and the mainstream media, and I tend to fall in line with the supporters.

I'm a hair too young to have followed Rice when he was at his most dominant, but from what I've read, he was the kind of player who made you say "Oh , we've gotta face him today." That litmus test works for me.

I'm excited for Rice's induction, but not for reasons you think. I'm psyched because it will add another notch to Neil Allen's baseball belt.

Yes, you read that last sentence right.

I uttered it because Neil Allen is my all-time favorite Met.

In 1983, not long before Allen was dealt for Keith Hernandez, to show my fanhood, I wore a t-shirt with Neil's rookie card on it, and got to meet him at a baseball card show. Neil was incredibly nice about it, and I recall him promising to win a game for me, or at least pitch better than he was at the time.

I'm loyal to my favorites, so I've stuck by Neil even in his days as an ex-Met, and even when he declined an interview with me regarding the anniversary of his trade, this past summer.

John Pacella, a former Met, once told me two things about Neil. One is that Neil Allen is a nice man. The other is that Neil has a memory like an elephant, and I shouldn't be surprised if he remembers the distinctness of my t-shirt, even from 25 years ago.

I hope Neil also remembers the success he had against Jim Rice.

Rice had 9 at-bats against Neil Allen (in his post-Mets career) and went 0-for-9.

That's not the only Hall of Famer whom Allen was dominant against.

Reggie Jackson went 1-for-9 against him, with 4 strikeouts.

George Brett went 0-for-7 against him.

Eddie Murray was 0-for-5.

If we throw in Mark McGwire's 0-for-10 against Allen, that allows us to state the following, as ridiculous and misleading as it may be.

Reggie Jackson, Jim Rice, George Brett, Eddie Murray, and Mark McGwire...5 of the most feared hitters of their time...were a combined 1-for-40 against the great Neil Allen.

And I just happen to think that that's really cool. It's the closest I can get to putting Neil Allen into the Hall of Fame.

True Metrice know...Jim Rice had 9 walk-off hits in his career. Amazingly none came against pitchers with any sort of connection to the New York Mets.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I guess this explains why Bo Diaz will never make the Hall of Fame.

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