Sam Rice

From BR Bullpen

1921 American Caramel

Edgar Charles Rice 

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 150 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1963

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Biographical Information[edit]

Sam playing for Washington in 1924 or 1925

Sam Rice played 20 years in the major leagues and had 2,987 hits. His lifetime batting average of .322 put him #45 on the all-time list as of 2015. Rice played almost his entire career as an outfielder for the Washington Senators and was in three World Series with them. He stole 351 bases in his career with a high of 63 in 1920. He also pitched 39 1/3 innings with a decent ERA. He never batted less than .293 in any of his 20 major league seasons. He played for the Cleveland Indians in his final season of 1934, with former Washington teammate Walter Johnson as manager. Rice was known for a spectacular and disputed catch in the 1925 World Series (Series eventually won by Pittsburgh) where he fell into the stands yet held onto the ball. He signed an affidavit (opened after his death) that he successfully made the catch. 

In 1930, Rice had 207 hits as a 40-year old. He is still the only man in baseball history to have 200 hits at age 40 or older. 

Rice (wearing the hat) speaks to Japanese interns on his chicken farm in 1943.

After baseball, Rice returned to the simple life; he was the owner of a chicken farm near Olney, Maryland. During World War II, he employed Japanese-Americans who were relocated from their homes on the West Coast due to the unfortunate government policies at the time.

Nine of the ten most similar players to Rice as of 2006 were in the Hall of Fame. The most similar is Rod Carew, but since Rice played in a lively ball era while Carew played in the second dead-ball era, the comparison is not so good. In any case, no player is truly similar to Rice, since even Carew scores at just 873. He was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979

Even though the name Rice is a common one, there were no major leaguers by that name until Sam came to the majors. After him there have been several, including Jim Rice, Harry Rice, Del Rice, Hal Rice and others.

"Why worry about the first pitch? If it's no good you're ahead of him. If he gets over a good pitch, you can be sure he'll come back with it and you're laying for it." - Sam Rice

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time AL At Bats Leader (1922, 1924 & 1926)
  • 2-time AL Hits Leader (1924 & 1926)
  • 4-time AL Singles Leader (1919, 1925, 1926 & 1930)
  • AL Triples Leader (1923)
  • AL Stolen Bases Leader (1920)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 5 (1923-1925, 1929 & 1930)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 6 (1920, 1924-1926, 1928 & 1930)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1920)
  • Won a World Series with the Washington Senators in 1924
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1963

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jeff Carroll: Sam Rice: A Biography of the Washington Senators Hall of Famer, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2008.

Related Sites[edit]