Ben Rice and Will Smith go on historic home run streaks

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In the first weekend of the Major League Baseball season in July, one of the most noteworthy stories have been the home run binge by two Major League players. On Friday, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith of Louisville, Kentucky hit three home runs in an 8-5 Dodgers win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He followed that up on Saturday, with a fourth home run in his fourth at bat in a 5-3 Dodgers win over the Brewers. Smith became the the third catcher ever to have four home runs in four at bats, and the second Dodgers player to hit three home runs in a game this season. The first was third baseman Max Muncy of Midland, Texas in an 11-2 Dodgers win over the Atlanta Braves on May 4.

Also on Saturday, Yankees first baseman Ben Rice of Cohasset, Massachusetts made Yankees franchise history by becoming the first rookie to hit three home runs in a game. The Yankees clobbered the Red Sox 14-4 at Yankee Stadium.

Who were the other two catchers?

Smith joins Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds and Benito Santiago of the Philadelphia Phillies. Bench of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning in a 7-1 Reds win over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 8, 1973, and then had three home runs in a 9-7 Reds win over the Phillies on May 9, 1973. Santiago of Ponce, Puerto Rico hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning in a 6-2 Phillies win over the Chicago Cubs on September 14, 1996, and then three home runs in a 6-1 Phillies win over the Cubs on September 15, 1996.

Will Smith’s Stats

Smith is batting .275 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in. During 74 games, 280 at bats and 320 plate appearances, he has scored 46 runs, and has had 77 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, 30 walks, 142 total bases, and six sacrifice flies, to go along with an on base percentage of .347, and a slugging percentage of .507. Smith’s triple came in a 9-5 Dodgers win over the Colorado Rockies on June 17.

Ben Rice’s Rookie Stats

Rice is batting .294 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in. During 17 games, 51 at bats, and 60 plate appearances, he has scored eight runs, and had 15 hits, three doubles, eight walks, 30 total bases, one sacrifice fly, an on base percentage of .383 and a slugging percentage of .588.

Among the game’s best

The Yankees and Dodgers are among the best teams in all of baseball. The Yankees are second in the American League East at 55 wins and 36 losses. They only trail the Baltimore Orioles by two and a half games. The Dodgers have the second best record in the National League. At 55 wins and 35 losses, they only trail the Philadelphia Phillies by three games.


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