Eutaw Street Chronicles (#16): Brady Anderson reaches Eutaw Street for the second time – May 13, 1998
April 24, 2013
Brady Anderson's first Eutaw Street home run in 1996 came amidst a career year for power in which he hit 50 home runs, twice as many as any other season, and posted his best totals for RBI (110), slugging percentage (.637) and OPS (1.034) for the wild card Orioles. Two years later, it was a different story.
Mired in a one-for-32 slump that saw him dropped to seventh in the lineup days earlier, Anderson used his traditional leadoff spot to hit Chad Ogea's first pitch on to Eutaw Street on Wednesday, May 13, 1998, in front of more than 43,000 fans. The ball traveled 403 feet and struck the back of the Boog's Barbecue tent. It was the 16th Eutaw Street home run in the history of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Anderson homered again in the fourth inning as part of an 8-1 Orioles victory against the Cleveland Indians. It was his first multi-homer game since Aug. 29, 1996 (he had seven multi-homer games in 1996). He was batting .074 coming into the game with a .132 slugging percentage and only two extra-base hits, one of which was a home run.
"People say you don't want an atypical leadoff hitter. Well, it's nice when an atypical leadoff hitter hits the ball almost 500 feet," said Orioles manager Ray Miller.
Miller added that Anderson "had that swagger" back after being dropped from the leadoff spot for a day on Sunday. Anderson, who returned from a stint on the disabled list on May 8, was more muted in his response to the two-homer game.
"I think I improved a little tonight," Anderson said. "I didn't feel good in the box when I first came back. I never really got that frustrated. .... I knew I'd just have to ride it out."
While Anderson struggled to find his power stroke early in the season, shortstop Mike Bordick was putting them out of the park at an uncharacteristic rate. Bordick's eighth-inning homer from the nine slot was his fourth in 103 at-bats; he had seven home runs in 509 at-bats the year before.
Bordick improved his AB/HR ratio from 72.7 in 1997 to 35.8 in 1998. He finished the year with double-digit home runs (13) for the first time and would do so for the next two seasons (10 in 1999; a career-high 20 in 2000).
Anderson, who made his major league debut 10 years earlier in Boston, posted a .236/.356/.420 slash line in 1998 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI. One year removed from winning 98 games and playing in the ALCS, the Orioles finished 79-83, the first of 14 consecutive losing seasons in Baltimore.