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Hall of Famer Rice Delights in Reunion with Gedman at Polar Park: 'I Come to See Geddy!'

As the sun began to set on Thursday evening, the atmosphere at Polar Park was electric. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice, his face lit up with a broad smile, walked off the diamond with his right arm warmly draped around his former teammate, Rich Gedman. The reunion of these two Boston Red Sox legends, who shared nine seasons, brought a nostalgic and heartwarming touch to the evening's festivities.

The occasion was a special one: Rice was the honored "Throwback Thursday" guest, invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch to Gedman before the WooSox faced off against the Columbus Clippers. Despite the WooSox' narrow 7-6 loss, the evening was a victory in terms of camaraderie and cherished memories.

"I’m going to try to get it there, I don’t know. I can’t get it there, I haven’t thrown a baseball or anything in a long time," Rice joked before taking the mound. "I got chips in my arm. So I’m not going to try to throw some blazing fastball, I may roll one up to Geddy." This light-hearted comment set the tone for a night filled with warmth and reminiscence.

Rice's illustrious career is the stuff of legends. Spending all 16 of his Major League seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Rice left an indelible mark on the sport. With a .298 batting average, 382 home runs, and 1,451 RBIs over 2,089 games, his achievements place him firmly among the greats in Red Sox history. Rice ranks in the top five in several key categories, including games played, runs (1,249), hits (2,452), home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits, and total bases. His accolades include eight All-Star selections, the 1978 American League MVP, and a remarkable achievement as the last player to win the International League Triple Crown in 1974.

Rice's contributions to baseball have been widely recognized. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2009, and his No. 14 jersey was retired by the Boston Red Sox the same year. Additionally, he was part of the first class of Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees in 1995, was elected to the International League Hall of Fame in 2008, and joined the PawSox Hall of Fame in 2016.

During the game, Rice was introduced on-field to the delight of fans and later greeted supporters in Sherwood’s Diner. However, it was the opportunity to catch up with Gedman that seemed to bring him the most joy. "I come to see Geddy," Rice said with a smile. "When you think about the (Red Sox) history of the catchers, who do you think about? (Gedman). That’s why he’s here, he knows what he’s doing."

The night was made even more special by the presence of other notable guests. WooSox manager Chad Tracy was seen playing baseball in the outfield grass with his five-year-old son, Austin. "He can hit, I could hit," Tracy proudly remarked. "So he can hit, his hand-eye coordination in a year-and-a-half's time is pretty remarkable. I think he’s going to be able to hit." Tracy's sentiment highlights a touching tradition of baseball families passing down their love of the game to the next generation.

This tradition is alive and well with the WooSox, as the Triple-A club has embraced having kids in the clubhouse during homestands. Tracy, who grew up in baseball stadiums following his father, Jim, relishes the chance to recreate those memories for his children and those of his colleagues. "I’m all about it," Tracy said. "They’re going to grow up the same way I did. It brings me back to my days when I was their age. I want them here."

Polar Park was buzzing with excitement and nostalgia, underscoring the community and familial aspects that make baseball more than just a game. For Rice and Gedman, the evening was a chance to relive old memories and create new ones, reminding everyone of the enduring bonds formed through America’s pastime.

The reunion of these two Red Sox greats, amidst the cheers of fans and the playful antics of children, showcased the timeless nature of baseball. It was a night where past glories and present joys intertwined, inspiring all who witnessed it and reinforcing the notion that the heart of baseball beats strongest in moments of connection and shared history. Source:


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