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Sports

July 24, 2009

Rice owes gratitude to Dick Bresciani

Sox PR man helped drive to Hall of Fame

Sometimes you need a little luck along the way, especially if you get your "Big Prize," whatever that prize may be.

For Jim Ed Rice, he finally gets what he has waited for after more than a decade of a some painful times waiting.

Rice will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday. Two days later, he will have his number, 14, officially retired at a ceremony at Fenway Park.

Among the people Rice will graciously thank, which will include family, former teammates and Hall of Famers who have rooted him on, will be this man: Dick Bresciani.

You probably never heard of Bresciani. He is the former media relations director for the Red Sox, first as an assistant from 1972 and then as the lead guy in 1981, before retiring in 1997. He has remained with the team since as an historian, also overseeing publications, archives and alumni relations.

You could make an argument that Bresciani might be the most important person, outside of Rice, to help make these next few special days happen.

It was near the beginning of 2005 that Bresciani met with then Vice President of Public Affairs, Charles Steinberg. The topic of Rice's failed Hall of Fame bid came up.

Rice got 307 votes, 80 shy of what was needed to the necessary 75 percent for induction.

"We were talking that it was a shame, that maybe we should do something," said Bresciani. "Charles said I should take some time and come up with some numbers, to see if we could prove his case."

There was never any discussion about this endeavor with Rice, probably because Rice would have nixed it.

"I never told him anything," said Bresciani. "I believe he heard it from other people. Jim is not the kind of guy that would go out selling himself. He just wouldn't do it. So we knew we had to do it."

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