Greatest Orioles Sluggers Of All Time
Cal Ripken, Jr.
The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1953, and the franchise played its first season as the Baltimore Orioles in 1954. Over the next several decades, the Orioles fielded some of the greatest teams of all-time, winning a few championships in the process. This list of Baltimore's all-time home run hitters is based on the Orioles' stats only, and not the Browns. It is also based strictly on total home runs hit with the franchise, as opposed to the players' totals with other teams.
Cal Ripken, Jr.-One of the greatest players to ever play the game, Cal Ripken, Jr. was an "iron man" of sorts. During his career, which spanned from 1981 to 2001, Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games, a record that topped Lou Gehrig and may never again be matched. A tall player for an infielder (he played shortstop and third base), Ripken holds the Orioles' franchise record for home runs with 431. He led the team to a World Series title in 1983, and to the playoffs in 1996 and 1997, and won the American League MVP Award in 1983 and 1991. That '91 season was Ripken's best overall, as he clubbed 34 home runs with 114 RBI and .323 batting average.
Eddie Murray-He's hit over 500 career homers and was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, but first baseman Eddie Murray played the bulk of his career with the Orioles (1977-1988 and part of 1996). During that time he hit 343 home runs, and his best overall season with Baltimore was 1982 when Murray belted 32 homers with 110 RBI and a .316 batting average. And although he never won an MVP Award, Murray finished in the top 5 of voting five times as an Oriole, and did win AL Rookie of the Year in 1977.
Boog Powell-First baseman John Wesley "Boog" Powell played most of his career in Baltimore, from 1961 to 1974. During that time, Powell hit 303 homers with his best season coming in 1969 when he hit 37 four-baggers with 121 RBI and a .304 average, leading the Orioles to an AL pennant. The team lost to the Mets in the World Series that year, but won in 1966 and 1970 (the year Powell won the AL MVP Award) with Powell as an integral part of the team. Powell's Orioles also won the AL pennant in 1971. Currently Boog has a barbecue business outside of the Orioles' home of Camden Yards.
Brooks Robinson-Third baseman Brooks Robinson is considered by many to be the finest defensive player at his position in baseball history. He played his entire career in Baltimore, from 1955-1977 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. But while Robinson is known mostly for his defensive prowess (16 straight Gold Gloves), he was also a great hitter and ranks fourth all-time in Orioles' home runs with 268. His best offensive season was 1964 when he hit .317 with 28 home runs and 118 runs batted in, earning him American League MVP honors. Robinson also won the World Series MVP in 1970.
Rafael Palmeiro-In a career that will forever be tainted by steroid implications, Rafael Palmeiro was still always a great hitter. During two tours of duty with Baltimore, Palmeiro hit 223 homers, and his best season with the team was 1996 when he hit 39 home runs with 142 RBI. As a member of the Orioles in 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 games after testing positive for steroids, and after finishing that season became a free agent but still has not signed with another team.
Brady Anderson-Center fielder Brady Anderson played most of his career with the Orioles, from 1988 to 2001. While Anderson hit 209 career homers with Baltimore, ranking him sixth all-time with the franchise, he hit 50 of those in 1996 when he also had a career high in RBI with 110. This fact made many suspicious, especially when you consider Anderson hit 16 home runs in 1995 and 18 in 1997, and his second-best total was 24 in 1999. Regardless, Anderson, with his trademark sideburns, was a very popular player and his 50 homers in '96 still ranks as an Orioles record for a single season.
Ken Singleton-After coming over from the Montreal Expos after the 1974 season, outfielder Ken Singleton had the best years of his career in an Orioles uniform. In all, Singleton clubbed 182 homers with Baltimore, but his best year was in 1979 when he hit 35 home runs with 111 RBI and a .328 batting average, and led his team to the AL Pennant. Singleton was also part of the 1983 World Champion Orioles team, and is currently a TV announcer for the New York Yankees.
Frank Robinson-It seems hard to believe that slugger Frank Robinson hit only 179 homers as an Oriole, but in actuality he only played with the team from 1966-1971, leading them to two World Championships and four AL Pennants. Robinson's best season in Baltimore was 1966, when he hit 49 home runs with 122 RBI and a .316 batting average, earning him the American League MVP Award. He also managed the Orioles from 1988 to 1991.
Chris Hoiles-Catcher Chris Hoiles played his entire career with Baltimore, from 1989 to 1998. Hoiles hit 151 homers as an Oriole, and enjoyed his best season in 1993 with 29 four-baggers, 82 RBI and .310 average (all of which were career highs). Hoiles, who has been inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame, was nicknamed "Tractor Mechanic" by his teammates, only because he looked like a tractor mechanic.
Gus Triandos-Catcher Gus Triandos played for the Orioles from 1955-1962, and hit 142 home runs during his tenure with the team. Triandos' best offensive season was 1958 when he hit 30 homers with 79 RBI.
Honorable Mention: Paul Blair, Jim Gentile, Lee May