Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Thirty home runs used to mean something. It still should.
Baseball's steroids era inflated home run expectations among fans. At this time in 1998 Mark McGwire was busy burying Roger Maris' single-season home run record and in the process making 30 homers appear pedestrian. Consider, though, that only 14 players in O's history have hit 30 or more home runs in a season, led by Eddie Murray who did it five times.
Gus Triandos was the first Oriole to pass the 30 homer mark. He did so in 1958.
The '60s brought a relative power surge to Baltimore as the O's had batters with 30 or more home runs in six different seasons. Meanwhile, Jim Gentile and Frank Robinson became the franchises' first 40 home run hitters. Gentile whacked 46 in 1961, Robinson 49 in 1966. The 1990s Orioles matched that effort with 30 home runs in six different seasons, topped by Brady Anderson's 50 in 1996 and Palmeiro's 43 in 1998.
On the flip side, Boog Powell and Ken Singleton were the only Orioles to break the 30-homer mark in the '70s. Powell (1970) and Singleton (1979) each totaled 35 home runs in a season. Baltimore has never had fewer 30 home run seasons in a full decade.
So Luke Scott will have accomplished a fairly rare feat in Baltimore should he hit four more homers this season, but unfortunately it's not likely to make him much more memorable. After all, can you name the last three Orioles to hit more than 30 home runs? [See the chart below for the answer.]
Related Recommended Reading: Dempsey's Army - "Luke Scott: An Appreciation"
Baltimore Orioles 30 Home Run Seasons By Decade
2008 - Aubrey Huff 32
2004 - Miguel Tejada 34
2002 - Tony Batista 32
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
1987 - Larry Sheets 31, Eddie Murray 30
1985 - Eddie Murray 31
1983 - Eddie Murray 30
1982 - Eddie Murray 32
1980 - Eddie Murray 32
1979 - Ken Singleton 35
1970 - Boog Powell 35
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
1958 - Gus Triandos 30
at 2:52 PM