Jim Rice, A Samaritan


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Posted By:- Danny Glassic

August 8, 1982. A line drive foul ball hits a four year old boy in the head at Fenway. Jim Rice, realizing in a flash that it would take EMTs too long to arrive and cut through the crowd, sprang from the dugout and scooped up the boy. He laid the boy gently on the dugout floor, where the Red Sox medical team began to treat him.

When the boy arrived at the hospital 30 minutes later, doctors said, without a doubt that Jim’s prompt actions saved the boy’s life. Jim returned to the game in a blood-stained uniform. A real badge of courage. After visiting the boy in the hospital, and realizing the family was of modest means, he stopped by the business office and instructed that the bill be sent to him.

This is what a sports Hero looks like!

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Jonathan Keane

The rest of the story is also heartwarming: Jonathan Keane: “I think about my family and Jim Rice saving us, saving my life,” he said. “Everyone else didn’t do anything and he had that reaction … Instinctively lifted me out of the stands and bringing me to the ambulance.”  Keane said he spent five days in the hospital in critical condition, but was back at Fenway Park the following season to throw out the first pitch at opening day. Even though Keane lives in Raleigh now, he still watches his favorite team whenever he can. “It happened so long ago, I’m not thinking about the event. I’m thinking of being at one of my favorite places in the world, which is Fenway Park,” he said. “My whole family, we’re all passionate Red Sox fans.” Exactly 36 years after the accident, Keane’s only real reminder is a scrapbook of pictures and newspaper articles including articles from the Boston Herald. He also has a tiny scar on his head.  Although he may not remember the horrifying moment the world saw in photographs, he’ll never forget the gift Jim Rice gave him.

Steve Fallon

Thanks for sharing this story. From a National League City, I knew very little about Jim Rice. I was lucky enough to get his card from a 25 cent pack from Topps in 1980/81. I scoured the back of his card and fell in love with him as a ballplayer. Never getting him to see him play and following him by reading box scores and the AL Leaders section from the newspapers I delivered, Rice became a legendary figure to me. Then came 1983 when I watched the All-Star game on a little, yet symbolic, black and white TV with a broken antenna because watching black athletes on the bigger, color TV was not a preferred activity in my household. Then the moment happened. Jim Rice came to bat. My exhilaration in seeing this mythical figure brought unwanted attention, and he stood by. I quickly went quiet. I channeled all the positive energy a twelve-year-old could muster for Rice as I had to endure the profanity that followed my excitement. It would have broken my heart if he struck out. I can still see it -on my little grainy screen – the pitch and the swing, a low line drive that somehow went over the fence. And in one moment, Rice gave me the courage to stand up to the bigotry that he endured throughout his career. My hero.

Bob Longoria, Software Developer

If I had a daily metro paper and needed a sportswriter or social justice editorialist you would be my guy. – thanks for the reflection and the time it took to put it together.

Melanie L. Mobley RN, HCS-D, COS-C

I agree that the action that Jim Rice took was truly heroic. Most of the people would not move a patient that has been traumatized because it what we were taught back then. This is an example of a man who has a bigger idea of life. Move the patient to where quick medical care is readily available and not make the paramedics search the crowd for their patient. Smart man, quick thinker who saved this child’s life. My utmost admiration goes out to Jim Rice. I’m sure at the time he did not get the recognition he deserved because of his race. He did what he did to save a child, not for recognition. That makes him even more admirable. And more of a hero!


Ron Valiquette

I met Jim in the 70’s after his own injury had cut short his rookie year. He was hired to come to Rhode Island to promote a new chain of small convenience stores called L’Il General Stores. His 1st stop was down the street from where I was living, having seen the notice in the Woonsocket Call. I skipped classes at college to go and meet him early at the store that day. Stepping out of a stretch limo in a long tan leather coat, I chatted with him for the 1/2 hour he was there, no one in Albion(RI) seemed to even know he was coming. I asked him if he would sign a baseball for my Godfather and a dollar bill for me… I still have it. Jim was a gentleman and down-to-earth like the guy down the street, I’m not shocked he would do something like that at all, God bless that man!


Sharon M., BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP

That must have been a thrill meeting him and he kindly signing those autographs!

Charles Taerk, President & CEO Faircourt Asset Management Inc.

A wonderful heartwarming story. So glad that it all turned out well for that boy and his family. This story was unknown to me until now but represents the Jim Rice I knew. In Toronto, in 78-79, the early years of the Blue Jay’s, my dad who had seats near the visitor’s dugout, invited Jim to play golf when the Red Sox were in town. I went one day, and not only witnessed him drive the green on a par 4, but had fun laughing and talking with him all day. I could never understand why members of the press didn’t see that friendliness. To this day, still my favorite player of all time.


Mike Magliaro

He lives in our town North Andover. He is well-liked and is a good guy.


  1. CheetoSantana
    • Jim Rice Saves Boy August 7th 1982
      • Profile
        • On August 7th 1982 Jim Rice climbs into the Fenway Park stands from the dugout to assist a young boy who had just been hit in the head by a savage line drive foul off the bat of Dave Stapleton. The Red Sox slugger’s quick response of picking up the four-year old boy and running through the dugout to a waiting ambulance is credited with possibly saving the child’s life.
        • All Rights To this Video Belong to ESPN
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel:- CheetoSantana
  2. WMUR-TV
    • Jim Rice Rushes To Injured Boy’s Aid
      • Profile
        • Red Sox great Jim Rice will soon be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but for one local family, Rice has always been in their personal hall of fame when he helped save one of their lives.
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel:- WMUR-TV
  3. Boston Red Sox
    • Jim Rice Rushes To Injured Boy’s Aid
      • Profile
        • Look back on the Hall of Fame career of Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice in this edition of the Red Sox Report.
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel:- Boston Red Sox
          Date Published:- 2020-February-4th


Honorable Mention

Mariam S. for liking the story on LinkedIn.

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