The rules, as I recall them though I'd be happy to be corrected, say a player has to have played ten years of which at least five were great years in order to merit consideration. (this is along with other things like a morality clause if my memory serves) Both Belle and Rice fit that criterion. In fact, I'll go a step further - both Belle and Rice had more great years than one of the most beloved Hall of Famers ever - Mickey Mantle. Or Ernie Banks. Or Billy Williams. (Is he in the Hall?)
There are probably a dozen guys in the Hall of Fame who are less deserving than Rice when it comes down to numbers. But it's not all about numbers of course. Pete Rose isn't in the Hall and there's a question about whether Barry Bonds will be. Or Roger Clemens. Or Rafael Palmiero.
I guess I'm wondering what is the cutoff point? Does any number - 350 wins, 700 home runs, 4000 hits - mean you should automatically get in? Tommy John and Bert Blyleven would probably be in the Hall if they'd been able to hang around another year or two, get a dozen or so more victories and cross the 300 win mark. Jim Kaat, too. Maybe they shouldn't be in the Hall - but what about Koufax? He didn't reach the 200 win mark. What if Clemente had flied out in his last at bat instead of hitting a double and getting to hit number 3,000? Would he be out in the cold?
It gets weird.