Yankees: 3 Hall of Fame Outfielders Who Weren’t as Good as Bernie Williams

New York Yankees OF Bernie Williams (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
New York Yankees OF Bernie Williams (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Bernie Williams Yankees
Jim Rice of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Jim Rice of the Boston Red Sox was not as good as Bernie Williams

1. Jim Rice, Red Sox LF

Point blank: Jim Rice’s career didn’t matter as much as Bernie Williams’ did, in the grand scheme of baseball history.

Oh, and the numbers weren’t there — yes, it’s a bit easier to accrue leadership statistics if you roam center field instead of left, but Rice’s ’70s and ’80s tenure on some Red Sox teams that ranged from near-champions to moribund saw him rack up 42.1 JAWS, 27th among all left fielders and just ahead of Roy White. Compared to his positional competitors, he’s in just about the same boat as Bernie.

But, of course, that doesn’t factor in the rings, the indelible moments, the personality, and the extracurriculars. Bernie Williams was front and center on the greatest dynasty in the sport’s modern era, but he somehow still gets forgotten, overshadowed by Jeter, the rest of the Core, and even Paul O’Neill. Rice had prodigious power, was at the forefront of the Red Sox for over a decade, and played his entire career in the sportswriter haven of Beantown. It was easy to see why the baseball world decided Rice had been wrongly forgotten, and but it’s confusing they haven’t remembered to stump for Williams yet, after covering him for so many consecutive World Series victories.

Fine. We’ll do it for them.