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Sox to retire Rice's number tonight

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  July 28, 2009 03:04 PM

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The Fenway facade, with Rice's number covered up. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

The Jim Rice number retirement ceremony will take place at 6:45 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Rice becomes the seventh player to have his number retired by the Red Sox, joining Bobby Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Johnny Pesky (6), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9), and Carlton Fisk (27). The number of Jackie Robinson (42) has been retired by all teams in Major League Baseball.

"On behalf of our partners and the entire organization, we want to congratulate Jim Rice on his upcoming induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and finally taking his rightful place among the greatest players in the game, said Sox principal owner John Henry. "The retirement of his number will be a fitting way to honor one of the most dominant hitters to ever wear a Red Sox uniform.

Rice was elected to the Hall of Fame on Jan. 12 and inducted on July 26, becoming one of 32 Red Sox players to receive the honor. He is the 48th electee to spend his entire career with one team and just the fourth to do so with Boston, joining Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. He will be enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday along with former outfielder Rickey Henderson who spent the 2002 season in a Red Sox uniform.

Over 16 seasons from 1974-89, Rice batted .298 with 382 home runs and 1,451 RBI in 2,089 games, earning eight All-Star selections. He placed among the top five in American League Most Valuable Player voting six times during his career, more than any other player between 1963 and 2005, and won the award in 1978 when he hit .315 with 213 hits, 46 home runs, 139 RBI, and a .600 slugging percentage.

Below, provided by the Red Sox, is a list of the dates of the other Red Sox number retirement ceremonies:

1 -- Bobby Doerr (formally retired May 21, 1988)
4 -- Joe Cronin (formally retired May 29, 1984)
6 -- Johnny Pesky (formally retired September 26, 2008)
8 -- Carl Yastrzemski (formally retired August 6, 1989)
9 -- Ted Williams (formally retired May 29, 1984)
14 -- Jim Rice (to be formally retired July 28, 2009)
27 -- Carlton Fisk (formally retired September 4, 2000)
42 -- Jackie Robinson (formally retired by Major League Baseball April 15, 1997)

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