07/22/09 7:46 PM ET
Rice's No. 14 to be retired by Red Sox
Ceremony will take place two days after Hall induction
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
That evening, before a 7:10 ET game against the Athletics, the Red Sox will retire the Hall of Fame outfielder's No. 14 as a tribute to his phenomenal career and in honor of his induction into Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday, the club announced on Wednesday.
It will be the seventh number to be retired by the franchise, joining Bobby Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Johnny Pesky (6), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9) and Carlton Fisk (27). Jackie Robinson's No. 42 has been retired by all Major League teams.
Rice was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Jan. 12, becoming the 32nd Red Sox player to receive the honor. He will be enshrined on Sunday, joining outfielder Rickey Henderson, who played in Boston in 2002.
"As a fan of the game and a steward of this great franchise, it is an honor to be a part of the Red Sox during this special moment in the team's history," Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry said in a news release. "On behalf of our partners and the entire organization, we want to congratulate Jim Rice on his upcoming induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and finally taking his rightful place among the greatest players in the game.
"The retirement of his number will be a fitting way to honor one of the most dominant hitters to ever wear a Red Sox uniform."
Spanning 16 seasons with Boston from 1974-89, Rice compiled a .298 batting average with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBIs in 2,089 games, earning eight All-Star selections along the way. The former Red Sox captain placed among the top five in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting six times during his career, more than any other player between 1963-2005, and he won the award after batting .315 with 46 home runs and 139 RBIs in '78.
Rice, inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995, ranks third among the club's all-time leaders in hits, home runs and RBIs.
Following his playing career, the 56-year-old was a roving Minor League hitting instructor for the organization from 1992-94 and then a Major League hitting coach from 1995-2000. He currently serves as the team's special assignment instructor -- a role he's held since 2001 -- and works as an analyst on NESN's Red Sox coverage.
"I never considered myself to be a home run hitter, but I did hit home runs," Rice said upon getting voted into the Hall of Fame during his final year of eligibility. "And I was told that in order to get into the Hall of Fame, especially on the first ballot, you had to have hit 400 homers. My thing was, if there was a guy on first base, to hit the ball in the gap and hope that runner would score."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.