A brainy and gifted defensive catcher, Rice made up for his poor hitting and lack
of speed (two stolen bases in 17 years) with his arm, glove, and handling of pitchers.
He had some home run power (12 homers in
1947, 11 in 1952), but several batting-stance
changes failed to raise his average. Rice was Bob Buhl's "personal catcher" on the
Braves in the late 1950s; Buhl regularly beat the Dodgers, Milwaukee's main rivals
in several close pennant races. In 1971 he was TSN Minor League Manager of the Year when he led Salt Lake City to the Pacific Coast League pennant, but he couldn 't get the Angels out of fifth
place when given a ML club the next year.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»April 30, 1950:
At St. Louis, the Cards Del Rice belts a home run in the bottom of the 13th to break up a pitching duel between the Cubs Johnny Schmitz and Harry Brecheen. The Cards win, 1–0. Rice also has a double as Schmitz gives up just four hits and retires 20 batters in a row.