May 15, 2021

Dick Smith: The First Met To Have Five Hits In A Game (1963-1964)

Richard Arthur Smith
was born May 17, 1939 in Lebanon, Oregon. The six foot two inch, two hundred pound right handed hitter, was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957.

He spent five years at the Dodgers minor league level, having a pair of 19 HR seasons in the early sixties. He struck out often, including 148 times in 1960. In December 1962 he had his contract purchased by the New York Mets.

Mets Career: In 1963, at AAA Buffalo, Smith hit 12 HRs while batting .262 in 105 games. He made his his MLB debut on July 20th, 1963, entering the game as a pinch hitter, in a 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He got a start in left field the next day, going 0-4. After five games, he was sent backdown to AAA Buffalo after going hitless in nine at bats..

He returned as a September call up, getting five hits & drawing four walks in his first six games back. 



He would have ten hits that month, including a big day
in San Francisco on September 23rd, when he hit a bases loaded triple, scoring all three runs to lead the Mets to a 4-3 victory.


In 1964, Smith was the Mets Opening Day first baseman, batting in the leadoff spot. In that game he went 2-4 in a 5-3 loss to the Phillies in Philadelphia. 

Trivia:
On May 26th, he became the first Met to collect five hits in a game, as he went 5-6 in a 19-1 Mets romp over the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. He led off the game with a base hit, then scored the first run of the game. In the 4th he singled again & in the 5th he had an RBI single. 

In the Mets four run 7th inning, he doubled home Chris Cannizzaro with his fourth hit. In the Mets six run 9th inning, he collected his fifth hit, as he tripled & scored on Frank Thomas' base hit. 

That month he also had four multiple hit games, including a three hit day against the Milwaukee Braves. By mid June he was only batting .223 with no HRs & just three RBIs when he was sent back down to AAA Buffalo.

He spent the rest of the year there, batting .307 with 9 HRs. In October of 1964, he was traded back to the Dodgers, who were now in Los Angeles, in exchange for Larry Miller. 

Post Mets Career: Smith would appear in just ten games for
the 1965 World Champion Dodgers going hitless in six at bats.


He would spend the next three years in the minors, playing through the 1968 season. In a three year career he batted .218 with 31 hits, six doubles, seven RBIs & a .260 on base % in 76 games. Although he hit 120 minor league HRs, he never hit one in the major leagues.

Passing: Smith passed away in Medford Oregon, in February of 2012, he was 72 years old.

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