If you watched the Red Sox around here in the late 70s or early 80s you're probably, like me, one of the many people whose favorite player was Jim Rice.
My attention span wasn't the greatest when I was a kid. My older sisters often didn't want me to play board games with them because they knew that I would lose interest and quit midway through the game. Even with sports, my favorite thing as a kid, I often couldn't sit to watch a game for an extended period of time. So when it came to watching the Red Sox, I would often drift away and come back to watching when my dad told me Jim Rice was coming up.
My mom worked evenings then, so Dad watched us and was responsible for putting us to bed. Even I knew I was being favored when, at bedtime I was allowed to stay up later than my sisters to catch a little more of the Red Sox game. An extra half inning to see the Red Sox bat one more time was allowed. Often I could stay on his lap with a plea to "see Rice hit one more time."
When I went to bed in the middle of a game, often the first thing I would ask my dad in the morning was whether Jim Rice hit a home run.
I remember walking through Sears or another department store at the mall and seeing the t-shirts that read "Pitchers pay the price when they pitch to Jim Rice."
I'm glad he made it to the Hall of Fame. It's recognition for him from his peers, which is something that can't be equaled. But for me, growing up sitting on dad's lap hoping to see him hit one over the fence, round the bases and have that primitive golden star graphic over his image as he returned to the dugout, he's been in the My Childhood Memories Hall of Fame for a long time.
Congratulations, Jim Ed. And thanks.