A good friend and outstanding journalist just texted me six beautiful words: Jim Ed is in the Hall.
The headline on Boston.com read similarly. And like the immortal sound clip from Joe Castiglione, about a grounder to Foulke and a subsequent underhand toss, it choked me up.
I moved home in September, 2006. Not my boyhood bedroom, as my family moved from Providence to Jamestown in 1998.
There are very few mementos from 102 Nelson St. My baseball cards and Legos made the move and are in a Rubbermaid bucket in the attic.
The new room has adult-level furniture. My old bedroom set pawned off to someone, via Milwaukee's Craigslist before the move to JTN. My old twin bed was been donated to the Salvation Army in New Rochelle, N.Y. in August, 2005.
But one thing remained from my childhood: a 1978 poster of Red Sox slugger James Edward Rice. Remember when Sports Illustrated used to have an ad in its pages on a weekly basis, with a long list of professional athletes in any number of the big four leagues (remember when there were four professional sports leagues??? but I digress...). The posters had the white borders, the players' name up top in times new roman, and an action shot with a facsimile of an autograph.
That Jim Rice poster is still hanging over my bed. It's from 1978 - his MVP season in which he hit .315, with 46 homers and 139 RBI. He had the old school red batting helmet on, with a surplus of afro on all sides.
It was a prized possession - and still is. It's coming with me to my next series of domiciles. The 1975 Topps Rice rookie card still remains a keepsake. I still have my 1978 New Era Red Sox cap. Since I was 3 years old, it doesn't fit - but I still have it.
And somewhere, among the Legos and baseball cards in the attic, there is a signed photo: "To Mike, best wishes, Jim Rice" that I got one afternoon at the Star Market in Olneyville. I might need to go dig that out.
What better way to celebrate 15 years of waiting than to break out the photo that has been preserved for 30 years or so.
Jim Ed Rice is in the Hall of Fame. Go ahead. Cry.