BATON ROUGE, La. – Infielder Josh Smith bolstered the list of former LSU Tigers who have won World Series championships when the Texas Rangers posted a 5-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
A Baton Rouge native, Smith is the 16th former LSU player to win a World Series ring, as the Rangers claimed their first title in franchise history. Texas won the World Series over Arizona in five games, and the Rangers finished 11-0 in their 2023 postseason road games.
Smith made his MLB debut with the Rangers last season, and he collected eight doubles, one triple, six homers, 15 RBI and 29 runs this season as a third baseman, shortstop and leftfielder. He was selected in the second round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, and he was traded in July 2021 to the Rangers.
Smith was rated among the top 10 of all Rangers prospects, and he made his debut at the Triple-A level in 2022, hitting .273 in 191 plate appearances for the Round Rock (Texas) Express.
He was LSU’s starting shortstop in 2019 after missing most of the 2018 season with a stress reaction in his vertebrae. He was the starting third baseman for LSU’s 2017 College World Series runners-up team, earning Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC recognition.
Smith, a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll as a finance major, was LSU’s leading hitter in 2019, batting .346 (89-for-257) with 17 doubles, two triples, nine homers, 41 RBI, 72 runs and 20 steals in 24 attempts.
He finished the 2019 season No. 4 in the Southeastern Conference in runs scored (72), No. 6 in batting average (.346), No. 6 in stolen bases (20), No. 8 in hits (89), and No. 10 in on-base percentage (.433).
Smith was named to the 2019 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament team after hitting .400 (4-for-10) with one double, one triple, one homer, three RBI and five runs. He was voted to the 2019 SEC All-Tournament Team after hitting .360 (9-for-25) with two doubles, one homer, four RBI and five runs.
Beginning in 1954 with infielder Alvin Dark of the New York Giants, 16 former LSU Tigers have been a part of World Series championship teams on 21 occasions.
Following is the list of the former LSU players who became World Series champions:
MLB World Series Champions from LSU
- INF Alvin Dark, New York Giants – 1954 (player); Oakland Athletics – 1974 (manager)
- 1B Joe Bill Adcock, Milwaukee Braves – 1957
- LHP Mark Guthrie, Minnesota Twins – 1991
- LHP Eddie Yarnall, New York Yankees – 1999 and 2000
- LHP Randy Keisler, New York Yankees – 2000
- RHP Russ Springer, Arizona Diamondbacks – 2001
- RHP Curtis Leskanic, Boston Red Sox – 2004
- RHP Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants – 2010 and 2012
- INF Mike Fontenot, San Francisco Giants – 2010
- LHP Brian Tallet, St. Louis Cardinals – 2011
- INF Ryan Theriot, St. Louis Cardinals – 2011; San Francisco Giants – 2012
- RHP Louis Coleman, Kansas City Royals – 2015
- 3B Alex Bregman, Houston Astros – 2017 and 2022
- RHP Will Harris, Houston Astros – 2017
- OF Andrew Stevenson, Washington Nationals – 2019
- INF Josh Smith, Texas Rangers – 2023