Ben Rice joins Yankees annals with two franchise records after 3 HRs vs. Red Sox

Yankees' Ben Rice has a three home run game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on July 6, 2024.
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Michael Bennington
Sunday July 7, 2024

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In a standout performance, rookie Ben Rice powered the New York Yankees to a commanding 14-4 win over the Boston Red Sox by hitting three home runs and driving in seven RBIs, setting several historic benchmarks for the franchise.

The 25-year-old Rice’s performance not only showcased his power but also placed him in rare company in Yankees lore. Ben Rice became the first rookie in Yankees history to hit three home runs in a single game. His seven RBIs tied a Yankees rookie record set by Lou Gehrig in 1925. Both the rookie, a Dartmouth graduate, and Gehrig, from Columbia, share the distinction of being Ivy League alumni.

Ben Rice also etched his name in the New York Yankees’ record books Friday night, becoming the youngest player in pinstripes to hit three home runs in a game since Bobby Murcer accomplished the feat in 1970 at age 24. MLB.com researcher Sarah Langs reported that Ben Rice is just the 11th player in franchise history to hit a leadoff home run within his first two career long balls.

This achievement is even more notable considering Ben Rice is only the third Yankee to do so since 1959, highlighting the rarity of such a feat in the modern era of baseball.

Ben Rice’s Bronx bash

Yankees' Ben Rice during a game against the Red Sox on June 6, 2024.
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In a historic display, Ben Rice blasted three home runs. Playing in just his 17th major league game and third as the leadoff hitter, he began his power surge with a solo homer in the first inning, followed by two 406-foot, three-run shots in the fifth and seventh innings.

The power surge began with a solo home run in the first inning, a 390-foot shot clocked at 105.1 mph. Ben Rice’s second homer, a three-run blast in the fifth inning, traveled 406 feet with an exit velocity of 103.7 mph. The Yankees rookie’s third, also estimated at 406 feet, was his hardest-hit ball since joining the majors, recorded at 110.8 mph.

His performance extended beyond his homers. His lone out in play was a hard-hit lineout to center field at 103 mph, and Ben Rice’s only unsuccessful at-bat was a strikeout with the bases loaded in the second inning.

Since being called up to replace the injured Anthony Rizzo, Ben Rice has impressed with a .294 batting average and a .971 OPS. His recent shift to the leadoff spot has ignited the Yankees’ offense, with Saturday’s game highlighting the pull-side power he displayed in the minors.

This breakout performance comes at a critical time for the Yankees, who have been struggling offensively in recent weeks. Ben Rice’s historic night has not only secured his place in the Yankees’ record books but also provided a much-needed spark to the team’s lineup.

Aaron Judge leads the curtain call for Ben Rice

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Manager Aaron Boone hailed Ben Rice’s performance as “a legendary day.” After his third homer, teammate Aaron Judge urged fans to cheer louder and encouraged the rookie to step out of the dugout for a curtain call.

Initially confused by the request, Ben Rice fumbled to find the right exit from the dugout. His teammates eventually guided him to the correct spot, where the Yankees rookie was met with a thunderous ovation from the crowd, eager for something to celebrate during the team’s recent struggles.

Ben Rice thought his inexperience was evident during his curtain call. Teammates had to guide him to the correct spot in the dugout, while Juan Soto paused at the plate to ensure he received his deserved recognition.

Ben Rice, a 25-year-old who grew up a Yankees fan near Boston, expressed his gratitude for the moment. His achievement marks the first time in Yankees history that a rookie has hit three home runs in a single game, a feat that even legends like Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle never accomplished.

His historic performance not only etched his name in the Yankees’ record books but also provided a much-needed morale boost for the team and its fans amid a challenging period.

Ben Rice’s standout performance, in just his 17th major league game, has ignited discussions about his potential as a long-term solution at first base for the Yankees. Ben Rice’s success raises questions about the future of Anthony Rizzo, currently on the injured list.

Pitcher Gerrit Cole, who left the game trailing before Ben Rice’s third home run, expressed gratitude for being part of such a historic day. The Yankees ace acknowledged the significance of the moment, noting it would be a lifelong memory for Rice.

“It’s a historical day, magical day,” Cole said. “To be honest, I’m pretty thankful I get to be on the lineup card because I know he’ll remember it forever.”

Ben Rice described the day as unforgettable, emphasizing his excitement not only for his personal achievement but also for the team’s crucial victory over his hometown team.

“Definitely a day I’ll never forget,’’ the Yankees rookie said. “I was pumped that it was a big-time win for us, good bounce back win and over my hometown team. Pretty cool.’’

His performance provided a much-needed boost for the Yankees during a challenging period.

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