Flashback Friday: Boog's Biggest Blast
Boog Powell's hits, unlike his barbecue, were not often tender. Never was that more true than 47 years ago to the day of this post when, on June 3, 1964, Powell blasted the longest of his 339 career home runs, an estimated 490-foot shot at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium that powered the Orioles to a 5-1 victory.
The home run was the first of two by Powell on the day. It struck the scoreboard in right-center field in Kansas City some 440 feet from home plate. The Associated Press reported that the ball hit approximately 40 feet up on the scoreboard. Baseball's Ultimate Power: Ranking the All-Time Greatest Distance Home Run Hitters lists the homer as Powell's longest at 490 feet.
After extending the Orioles' lead to three with his prodigious seventh inning homer, Powell added a solo shot in the ninth inning that was the first in a pair of back-to-back shots by the Orioles. Centerfielder Willie Kirkland finished the scoring with a homer immediately after Powell's. It was his first hit after starting the game with three strikeouts.
Powell's two-homer day was a sign of things to come. He one-upped himself on June 27 with a three-homer game against Washington to account for all the team's runs in a 3-1 victory. One of the trio of long balls hit the scoreboard in Washington. Forget scoreboard watching, Powell was doing some scoreboard bashing in '64.
After the three-homer game, the AP reported that Powell was on a run of four homers in five at-bats and seven in five consecutive games, thereby matching a record shared by Babe Ruth, Jim Bottomley, and Vic Wertz. Overall, he hit 12 home runs in the month of June on his way to a career-high total of 39 in 1964.
Back to Powell's longest blast. That monster shot in Kansas City was his first career homer off Diego Segui, father of former Oriole David Segui. Powell would homer off the elder Segui four times overall, including the first-ever home run at Oakland Coliseum. That was the subject of last week's Flashback Friday.