Dodgers catcher Will Smith is not from West Philadelphia, neither born nor raised, and it’s not clear whether the playground was where he spent most of his days, but on Saturday he was certainly chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool while playing some baseball outside of the....101 Freeway? Whelp, I tried.
In all seriousness, Smith made the intelligent decision to hit the first home run of his career in an ideal scenario for his team. In the bottom of the ninth with nobody on, and one out, the catcher slapped Héctor Noris’s 87 mph pitch down the left field line to break a 3-3 deadlock and walk off the Phillies.
There were unfortunately no Will Smith-related celebrations once the dinger was smashed—personally, I was hoping for the dramatic clap from The Pursuit of Happiness—but he did admire his work for a bit before doing the mildest of bat flips and rounding the bases.
The game-winning mash apparently even surprised Smith, who told SportsNet LA that he was “just trying to get on base.”
Smith has every right to savor this moment given the fact that he’s not even a regular starter for the Dodgers—at least in Los Angeles. He was called up on Monday from the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City (also named the Dodgers) and has played pretty damn well through his four starts. But, as the LA Times’ Jorge Castillo reports, he’ll likely be heading back to Oklahoma City once Austin Barnes can come off the injured list. Even with evidence to show he’s capable of playing in the big leagues, it might be a while before he returns to the majors. But that’s not likely to faze the catcher because if there’s anyone who knows just how tough it is to make it in the Wild, Wild West, it’s Will Smith.