Dec. 12, 2018
The Baltimore Orioles Boog Powell
Boog Powell has a storied career for the Baltimore Orioles. He made his debut as a 19 year-old appearing four games in 1961, and in his first full season in 1962, he clubbed 15 home runs, a glimpse of the power that was to come for the slugger. He started off playing both leftfield, and first base. By 1966, when the Orioles won the World Series, he was the every day first baseman. At 6-4, 230 pounds Powell was an intimidating presence in the batters box.
Powell would hit 20 or more home runs in 9 seasons, and in four of those season, he would hit 30 or more. No easy feat with most of his early career when pitching dominated Major League Baseball. He hit 25 home runs with 82 RBI in 1963, and he followed it up with 39 home runs and 99 RBI, and end that season with a line of .290/.366/.606.
The Orioles would sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966 in the World Series, and in that season Powell had his best to date, hitting 34 home runs and 109 RBI. He put together another good line .287/.372/.532. The Orioles dominated the American League, and the American League Eastern division beginning in 1969. The Orioles won the World Series in 1966 and 1970. 1969 and 1971, the Orioles won the American League pennant. Powell hit 37 home runs with 121 RBI in 1969, followed by 1970 season 35 home runs with 114 RBI. It would be the last time he would hit over 30 home runs in a season, and have over 100 RBI.
Earl Weaver's use of a platoon system started costing Powell playing time during the 1973-1974 seasons. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where in 1975, he responded with a 27 home runs and 86 RBI, and line of .297/.377/.524. He would play one more season in Cleveland. His number dropped dramatically. In 1977, his final season, he ended his career with the Los Dodgers used as a pinch-hitter.
He finished his career with .339 home runs with 1,187 RBI with a slash line of .266/.361/.462. Powell was an American League all-star from 1968-1971. He was the American League Most Valuable Player, and he is a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.