Offensive production aside, what else might Jim Rice have done during his Red Sox tenue to deserve enshrinement alongside such legends as Mr. Butch or
Bob Gamere The Rathskeller’s Mitch? As the Boston Herald’s Dan Duggan recalls, the Boston LF might well have saved the life of a young fan.
On Aug. 7, 1982, four-year-old Jonathan Keane of Greenland, N.H., was sitting with his father, Tom, in the second row along the first base line at Fenway Park [map] when he was struck in the left temple by a foul ball of the bat of Red Sox first baseman Dave Stapleton. Rice sprung from the dugout, lifted the bloodied boy into his arms and raced him through the clubhouse to an ambulance.
œThere™s a big reaction from that, Rice said. œPeople always say, ˜What happened to the kid?™
The œkid is now 31 and living in Raleigh, N.C., where he works for an Internet company. While Keane suffered a fractured skull and was hospitalized for five days, he had no lasting effects from the incident. For that, he thanks Rice™s quick reaction.
œWhat he did saved my life, Keane said. œIn those types of situations, most people freeze. He was really quick to react. That™s heroic in my eyes.
Rice downplays his response as something he™d like to think others would do if his children were in the same situation.
œI had two kids at the time. It was just a reaction, Rice said. œIt wasn™t anything where you could sit there and plan or anything like that. I knew doctors were in the ballpark. Why not pick the kid up and bring him in the clubhouse where he could have medical attention?
Rice is reminded of the moment every time he™s at Fenway.
œThat picture is in a collage upstairs (in Fenway Park). When I go upstairs, I see that picture, Rice said. œWhen I come to Fenway Park, every time I look at the park . . . that™s the thing I think about the most.