Who are in the Yankees’ elite 3-HR game club before Ben Rice joins?

Yankees’ Ben Rice hugs his father Dan after hitting three home runs against the Red Sox on July 6, 2024, in New York.

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Rookie Ben Rice etched his name into New York Yankees history during their game against the Boston Red Sox. In just over three weeks with the major league team, he became the first rookie in the Yankees’ storied franchise history, including their era as the Highlanders, to hit three home runs in a single game.

Ben Rice’s stellar performance for the New York Yankees against the Red Sox carried extra significance given his background as a Yankees fan raised in a Boston suburb. The rookie’s seven-RBI game matched a historic Yankees record set nearly a century ago. In 1925, another Ivy League alumnus, Lou Gehrig from Columbia University, established the rookie benchmark that Rice, a Dartmouth graduate, has now equaled.

This parallel between Rice and the legendary Gehrig extends beyond their shared Ivy League pedigree, highlighting a connection across generations of Yankees baseball. Rice’s achievement resonates deeply with the franchise’s rich history, while also writing a new chapter for a player who grew up cheering for the team from enemy territory.

The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed Rice’s unique achievement as the first rookie among 22 Yankees to hit three homers in a game. His standout performance was instrumental in ending the Yankees’ four-game losing streak, securing a critical victory after losing 14 of their last 18 games.

Rice’s rise comes after stepping in for the injured veteran Anthony Rizzo, sidelined with a wrist injury in June, drawing comparisons to Gehrig’s famous replacement of Wally Pipp in 1925.

Ben Rice’s historic performance for the Yankees set multiple records and milestones. According to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, Rice became the 11th Yankee to hit a leadoff homer within his first two career home runs and only the third to accomplish this feat since 1959.

Rice joined a rare group, becoming one of only three rookies in MLB history to hit three home runs in a single game from the leadoff position, alongside Mike Yastrzemski and Andrew McCutchen.

Ben Rice became just the seventh Yankee to hit three home runs and drive in at least seven runs in a game.

Ben RiceSaturdayBOS37
Alex Rodriguez26-Apr-05LAA310
Tino MaitinezApril 2, 1997SEA37
Paul O’NeiIIAug. 31, 1995CAL38
Mike StanleyAug. 10, 1995CLE37
Tony Lazzeri24-May-36PHA311
Lou Gehrig22-May-30PHA38

The Elias Sports Bureau highlighted that Rice’s achievement, occurring in his 17th career MLB game, ranks as the fifth-fastest three-homer performance in league history.

Rice is now the fourth Yankee to hit three home runs against the Boston Red Sox in a single game, following in the footsteps of Lou Gehrig (1927), Mark Teixeira (2010), and Aaron Hicks (2018). At 25, he is the second-youngest Yankee to achieve this against the Red Sox, after Gehrig.

His final stat line for the game was 3-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBIs. This performance significantly boosted his season statistics, raising his batting average to .294 and his OPS to .971, marking improvements of 33 and 216 points, respectively, in a single game.

How many Yankees have hit three home runs in a game?

The Elias Sports Bureau has confirmed that Ben Rice is the first rookie among the 22 Yankees players to hit three home runs in a single game. Here is the list of others who are in this exclusive club.

Three home runs by Yankees in a game in regular season
Player (Quantity)AgeDateHRsBOPPOS
Babe Ruth31.242 10/06/192633      LF 
Tony Lazzeri23.1846/8/192736SS
Lou Gehrig24.0046/23/1927341B
Babe Ruth33. 24610/09/192833LF 
Babe Ruth35.1045/21/193033LF
Lou Gehrig26.3375/22/1930351B
Lou Gehrig28.356/3/1932441B
Ben Chapman23.1977/9/193236LF
Tony Lazzeri32.175/24/1936382B
Joe DiMaggio22.26/13/193733CF
Bill Dickey32.057/26/193935C
Charlie Keller23.327/28/194035LF
Joe DiMaggio33.185/23/194834CF
Joe DiMaggio35.2899/10/195034CF
Johnny Mize37.2519/15/1950351B
Mickey Mantle23.2055/13/195533CF
Tom Tresh26.2596/6/196535CF
Bobby Murcer24.0356/24/197032CF
Bobby Murcer27.0547/13/197334CF
Cliff Johnson29.3436/30/197735DH
Reggie Jackson       41.153    10/18/197734RF 
Mike Stanley32.0468/10/199537C
Paul O’Neill32.1878/31/199533RF
Darryl Strawberry34.1478/6/199637LF
Tino Martinez29.1164/2/1997341B
Tony Clark32.0748/28/2004381B
Alex Rodriguez29.2734/26/2005353B
Mark Teixeira30.0275/8/2010331B
Alex Rodriguez35.0188/14/201034DH
Curtis Granderson31.0344/19/201232CF
Alex Rodriguez39.3637/25/201533DH
Aaron Hicks28.2727/1/201831CF
Gary Sanchez26.1264/7/201934DH
Kyle Higashioka30.1499/16/202039C
Anthony Rizzo32.2614/26/2022331B
Aaron Judge31.1198/23/202332DH
Aaron Judge31.1499/22/202332RF
Ben Rice25.1357/6/2024311B

In Yankees history, multiple players have achieved this feat more than once. Aaron Judge became the first Yankee to hit three home runs twice in a single season in September 2023. Alex Rodriguez accomplished the feat five times, with three of those occurrences as a Yankee. Tony Lazzeri and Bobby Murcer each managed to do it twice.

Lou Gehrig stands out with four three-homer games and is the only Yankee to have hit four home runs in a single game, a feat he achieved in 1932 against the Philadelphia Athletics. Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth both had three such games, although only one of Ruth’s was during the regular season.

Ruth made history on May 21, 1930, becoming the first MLB player to hit three home runs in a game at Shibe Park. Notably, Ruth and Gehrig each hit three home runs in consecutive games on May 21 and 22, 1930.

Ruth’s final three-homer game came in 1935 with the Boston Braves at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, shortly before his retirement.

Which Yankees players have hit three home runs in an MLB postseason game?

The Yankees' legendary star Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth set the benchmark for three-homer games in postseason history, accomplishing this remarkable feat twice. His first occurred in Game 4 of the 1926 World Series for the New York Yankees against the St. Louis Cardinals. Notably, one of Ruth’s home runs landed in the center field bleachers at Sportsman’s Park, a rare feat at the time. Ruth also established records with 12 total bases and four runs scored in that game.

Ruth replicated this achievement two years later in another Game 4 of the World Series, again in St. Louis, where he hit three home runs in just three at-bats.

This record remained unmatched until the 1970s. Bob Robertson of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three home runs in the 1971 National League Championship Series. Reggie Jackson later joined this exclusive club with his unforgettable three-homer performance in the 1977 World Series. Jackson’s heroics not only earned him the “Mr. October” moniker but also set a series record with five home runs.

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