1934: Rice signs with Cleveland

February 13, 1934

While Sam Rice’s playing career seemed to be winding down prior to the 1933 season, the long time Nat was looking to start has managing career. When Walter Johnson was dismissed as manager, Rice thought it might be his time. Clark Griffith went to the much younger Joe Cronin, however. Rice’s disappointment was likely exacerbated by the fact that he was, for the first time in decades, relegated to the bench full time.

After being used for only one pinch-hitting appearance in the 1933 series, the writing was on the wall for Rice. He was released by Washington in January of 1934, but jumped at the opportunity to join long-time teammate Walter Johnson, who was managing in Cleveland.

Rice saw a lot more playing time than he had in 1933. While he only saw 89 plate appearances in his final year in Washington, Rice compiled 367 in Cleveland. The wear and tear of near daily work got to Rice later in the summer, however. After a miserable August in which he batted less that .200, Rice decided to hang up his spikes. As a farewell, he went 3-for-5 in his final game – which just happened to come against his former team.

One Response to 1934: Rice signs with Cleveland

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for the Sam Rice feature, Scot. I’ve always had some fascination for him since reading a Baseball Digest piece on him in the mid-1970’s. Sports Illustrated’s story on him from several years back reads like a piece of fiction, incredible circumstances involving him and his family and baseball career!

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