I have nothing against Jim Rice. He had a respectable career. There's just many reasons why he should not be a Hall of Famer.
It could be a matter of standards for Cooperstown. I'm probably a tougher judge than most people, but I feel that when you think someone should make it to the Hall of Fame, you should have no doubt about it.
Let's just see some of the common opinions about why he should make it:
He won MVP in 1978.
I started with this one because it's the dumbest reason. An MVP means one great season. You get elected to the HOF because of your career. Save the seasonal achievements for the museum.
He played during the steroids era.
When arguing for various people to make the HOF, many people say that their numbers are even more impressive because they played in the "steroids era."
But this bears the assumption that practically everyone used steroids except for Rice. It's unlikely that that specific circumstance had occurred.
He was one of the most feared hitters of his era.
Feared isn't a relative term. It's more of a matter of opinion than evidence.
If you want evidence to show that he's a lot less feared than most make his out to be, look at the intentional walks.
He only finished in the top 10 in intentional walks in the American League three times in his career.
Just to put things in perspective, here's a list of players who were undoubtedly better than Jim Rice in the '80s:
Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Gary Carter, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Mike Schmidt.
Those were just the ones who were "undoubtedly" better in that era. As in you can't argue that they were worse. There are also many other players I'd put over Rice in his prime.
As for reasons why I don't think he should be a hall of famer:
His road numbers.
Rice became a victim of the Green Monster in Fenway Park. Because he kept trying to pull the ball, it eventually hurt his swing away from Fenway.
His career road numbers: .277/.330/.459. Those numbers aren't HOF worthy for a corner outfielder.
Rice's power numbers are less impressive than they look.
Rice hit 398 home runs. Going back to his road numbers, they show that he would have only hit about 350 home runs without Fenway.
He also didn't hit a lot of doubles. Rice his 373 in his career. Most power hitter have more career doubles than home runs. Rice only finished in the AL top ten in doubles three seasons.
He also hit ground balls pretty frequently. Rice is sixth all time in GIDP.
Rice was inconsistent. Rice only hit 30 or more home runs four season in his career.
Rice played one quarter of his games as a DH.
Rice is 177th all-time in OPS+. There are less hitters than that in the HOF.
Rice has a career .225 avg in the postseason.
Rice was a very good player, but the HOF is for the greats. For the reasons stated above, Rice was not an exceptional player.