What do former Boston Red Sox slugger Jim Rice and Hillsborough farmer Richard Norz have in common? Yes, they have both been outstanding in their fields. For Rice, that would be left field, and for Norz, the cow pasture on South Branch Road.
Now, with the announcement this week that Norz has been awarded the title of National Outstanding Young Farmer by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, they have something else in common. They have both been elected to their respective Halls of Fame.
Norz is just the sixth New Jersey farmer to receive this recognition since its inception in 1955. Rice, a 2009 inductee, is the 103rd member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
So what ELSE do they have in common? Both Jim Rice and Richard Norz squeaked through in their last year of eligibility. Rice was on the ballot for 15 years before finally getting enough votes, and would have been dropped in 2010. Norz, who is 40 years old, would have been officially too old to qualify as a "young farmer" next year!
Just goes to show, it's never too late to be recognized for being outstanding in your field!