I tried getting Jim Rice's autograph once and he wasn't too friendly. I think he was trying to get to a cab in Anaheim when he was a coach with the Boston Red Sox in the early part of this decade or late 1990s - he kind of just blew by me and some people off and told the cab driver to 'get outta here' in a surly, 'get me away the hell from these people' manner.
In retrospect, Dennis Eckersley traveled with the Red Sox during the same time - he had no problems signing autographs and I was able to get a couple.
Rice maybe a dick in real life, but that doesn't mean I get the animosity towards Rice and it is like how people hate Joe Morgan as a broadcaster, don't believe in Dusty Baker's managerial skills hot air to me - as tempting as it seems, I'm not going to bother to listen or read these ramblings.
For those who debunk the myth of Rice labeled as a feared hitter - it is compliment, not a seal of approval people. I think certain people need to take a chill pill.
I suspect some bias and prejudice at play here by those who can work a keyboard - somehow breaking down Rice's stats bit-by-bit to invalidate his career. Baseball has become a sabermetrician's wet dream with the ability to manipulate, play, study the numbers.
It has been noted Rice has many shortcomings when it comes looking behind the numbers - where there is some merit for his induction.
However, if you do it with every player in the Hall of Fame - really break down someone's career numbers, you'll find something you don't like or something you can brush off, unless it comes to players of Rice's ilk.
Yeah Rice had to wait 15 years, things do change, people soften their grudges - perspective changes and isn't aren't the writers going to do the same things for the Steroid era's greatest sluggers?
Did Rice have to absolutely be heads and shoulders better than everyone else - for people clamoring for a player Don Mattingly to get in, apparently.
The same people who vehemently argue that Rice isn't a Hall of Famer - are probably the same schmucks who would probably not for Rickey Henderson.
I'm on the West Coast and I realize the East Coast bias is a term thrown around casually - but Rice was a seemingly surly, prickly player to his hometown media, why should they have rallied around him?
In short, Rice can probably tell you to look at the scoreboard - I don't think all the smart writers will be able to take the honor of being elected to the Hall of Fame from him.