Powerball in Baltimore

After weeks of intense negotiations against themselves, the Orioles have signed Vlad Guerrero pending a physical. That means there’s a real potential for power in Baltimore this season (emphasis on potential). Here’s where the team’s new heavy hitters fit into the context of recent and distant team history.

With the signing of free-agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero the Orioles will now have had six different Home Run Derby winners in their lineup at some point.

In addition to Guerrero, who won the Derby in 2007, the Orioles Miguel Tejada (2004), Sammy Sosa (2000), Brady Anderson (1996), Cal Ripken (1991), and Eric Davis (1989).

Short-time Oriole Albert Belle registered a second-place finish in the 1995 Home Run Derby to Frank Thomas. Belle’s overall home run total of 16 was one greater than Thomas’ total; however, Thomas won the head-to-head match-up in the final round by a 3-2 score.

See a full list of winners here.

By most reports, the Guerrero acquisition means that Luke Scott will see consistent time as the Orioles’ everyday left fielder rather than the team’s designated hitter. The additional at-bats will provide Scott the opportunity to pursue in earnest his third consecutive season as the Orioles’ top home run hitter. Only three other Orioles have led the team in home runs for at least three straight seasons: Eddie Murray (six seasons), Gus Triandos (five seasons), and Boog Powell (three seasons).

Murray was the Orioles’ top home run hitter every season from 1980 through 1985. Triandos led the team in home runs  from 1955 to 1959; in 1958, he became the first Oriole to hit 30 home runs in a season. Powell led the O’s in homers from 1968 to 1970. Powell never hit 40 home runs; his career high of 39 came in 1964 (Note: Jim Gentile was the first Oriole to hit 40 home runs; he had 46 in 1961.)

Between Guerrero, Derrek Lee, and Mark Reynolds, the Orioles now have three players who have hit 30 or more home runs a combined 14 times. Only four times in Orioles history have two players had 30 or more homers in the same season. Overall, only 14 Orioles players have recorded 30-homer seasons, led by Eddie Murray who did it five times. Guerrero has done it eight times.

Here’s the breakdown of 30 home run seasons in Baltimore by decade. 

2000s
2008 – Aubrey Huff 32
2004 – Miguel Tejada 34
2002 – Tony Batista 32

1990s
1999- Albert Belle 37
1998 – Rafael Palmeiro 43
1997 – Rafael Palmeiro 38
1996 – Brady Anderson 50, Rafael Palmeiro 39
1995 – Rafael Palmeiro 39
1991 – Cal Ripken 34

1980s
1987 – Larry Sheets 31, Eddie Murray 30
1985 – Eddie Murray 31
1983 – Eddie Murray 30
1982 – Eddie Murray 32
1980 – Eddie Murray 32

1970s
1979 – Ken Singleton 35
1970 – Boog Powell 35

1960s
1969 – Boog Powell 37, Frank Robinson 32
1967 – Frank Robinson 30
1966 – Frank Robinson 49, Boog Powell 34
1964 – Boog Powell 39
1962 – Jim Gentile 33
1961 – Jim Gentile 46

1950s
1958 – Gus Triandos 30 

Based on their single-season career highs, Guerrero, Lee, and Reynolds would each place in the Orioles’ top five all-time for home runs. Only four Orioles have hit 40 home runs in a season.

O’s Top 10 Home Runs (Single Season)

1. Brady Anderson, 1996, 50
2. Frank Robinson, 1966, 49
3. Jim Gentile, 1961, 46
(Derrek Lee, 46, 2005)
(Mark Reynolds, 44, 2009)
(Vlad Guerrero, 44, 2000)
4. Rafael Palmeiro, 1998, 43
5. Boog Powell, 1964, 39
6. Rafael Palmeiro, 1995, 39
7. Rafael Palmeiro, 1996, 39
8. Rafael Palmeiro, 1997, 38
9. Boog Powell, 1969, 37
10. Albert Belle, 1999, 37


Finally, here’s what the Orioles’ home run leader board has looked like since the team’s last winning season in 1997.

2010: Luke Scott 27, Ty Wiggington 22, Adam Jones 19
2009: Luke Scott 25, Adam Jones 19, Nick Markakis 18
2008: Aubrey Huff 32, Melvin Mora 23, Luke Scott 23, Millar 20 & Markakis 20
2007: Nick Markakis 23, Miguel Tejada 18, Kevin Millar 17
2006: Tejada 24, Hernandez 23, Markakis, Mora, Patterson 16, Millar 15
2005: Mora 27, Tejada 26, Gibbons 26
2004: Tejada 34, Mora 27, Palmeiro 23, Lopez 23
2003: Tony Batista 26, Gibbons 23, Mora & Conine 15
2002: Tony Batista 31, Gibbons 28, Mora 19
2001: Chris Richard 15, Gibbons 15, Conine 14
2000: Belle 23, Charles Johnson 21, Anderson 19
1999: Albert Belle 37, Surhoff 28, Anderson 24, Baines 24
1998: Palmeiro 43, Eric Davis 28, Surhoff 22
1997: Palmeiro 38, Hammonds 21, Surhoff & Anderson 18

-34-

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About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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