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Baltimore Sports Then and Now



Picking the Baltimore Orioles “Dream Team” 18

Posted on September 23, 2011 by Jeff Herbst

You can't have a Baltimore Orioles Dream Team without Brooks Robinson.

The Baltimore Orioles as a franchise has seen outstanding teams in the past, and several players who have been inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. The Oriole Way was proudly displayed by several players who did the city proud over the years.

We will take a look at some of those terrific Orioles’ players, and select a starting lineup for an all-time Orioles dream team.

Catcher: Chris Hoiles
This may just be the one position where the Baltimore Orioles have never been seriously blessed with great offensive talent. There have been some stellar defensive catchers through the years (Andy Etchebarren, Elrod Hendricks), but very few with the ability to produce consistent offense.

We give the nod to Chris Hoiles. In a ten-year career spent entirely with the Orioles, Hoiles hit 151 home runs with a .262 batting average, and was the anchor behind the plate for the Orioles during their last two playoff seasons in 1996-1997.

First Base: Boog Powell

For the first 14 seasons of his 17-year career, John Wesley “Boog” Powell represented the Baltimore Orioles with class and dignity, and provided an outstanding bat in the lineup. Powell was voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player award in 1970, and was a member of four All-Star teams.

Powell won two World Series during his time with the O’s (1966, 1970), and even today is still a revered figure in the Baltimore area. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy 70th Birthday to Baltimore Orioles Legend Boog Powell! 8

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Happy 70th birthday to one of the all-time great Orioles.

The Baltimore Orioles of the 1960s and early 1970s boasted a roster busting with stars from top to bottom. While Brooks and Frank Robinson were the two best players on the team, the most imposing figure was a 6-foot-4, 240 pound first baseman who hit towering home runs and picked throws out of the dirt with ease. It was that player, Boog Powell, who became a favorite to many young fans, including myself.

It is hard to believe that today is the 70th birthday for one of the great sluggers of his era and we at Sports Then and Now want to wish a Happy Birthday to one of our all-time favorite players.

Given the super-sizing of professional baseball players in recent years, Powell’s size may no longer seem all that special, but in the 1960s and 1970 when most players were shaped like string beans, Powell was hard to miss. With tree trunks for arms that looked even larger when wearing the Orioles tight fitting gray uniform top, he spent more than a decade launching mammoth home runs and playing first base for the Baltimore Orioles.

A fair-skinned giant with reddish hair, Powell looked like a farm boy from the Midwest, but actually was born in Lakeland, Florida and grew up in the Sunshine State. Though his given name was John Wesley Powell, he earned the nickname “Boog” as a kid due to his mischievous nature. He seemed to always be getting into something and became known as Booger, as in, “What’s that little Booger doing now?” The nickname was eventually shortened to Boog, probably around the time he got big enough to beat the snot out of anyone who would dare call him Booger.

Powell’s prowess on the baseball field was evident from an early age. In 1954 he was part of the Lakeland Little League squad that played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Orioles in 1959, Powell quickly made his way to the majors. He led the International League in home runs in 1961 and made his major league debut that September.

The next season he became the starting leftfielder for the Birds and was an important reason the Orioles were steadily moving from perennial doormat to contender in the American League. Powell blasted 25 home runs in 1963 and the following season hit 39 homers and led the American League with a .606 slugging percentage despite missing several weeks with a broken wrist. Read the rest of this entry →

Orioles and Nationals Remember 1970 2

Posted on June 26, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Frank Robinson his two grand slam home runs against the Washington Senators on June 26, 1970.

It was 40 years ago today when Frank Robinson blasted two grand slam home runs to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 12-2 victory over the Washington Senators.  The 2010 representatives for both cities will be on the field today at Camden Yards wearing special throwback uniforms, but things have changed quite a bit for both teams over the last 40 years.

In 1970 the Baltimore Orioles were the best team in baseball and on their way to their second World Series title in five years. Combining a powerful offense, great defense and amazing pitching, the Orioles had the best record in the American League with a 46-25 record on June 26th and finished the season with an amazing 108-54 mark.

First baseman Boog Powell hit 35 home runs and was named the league MVP. Pitchers Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar each won 24 games while Jim Palmer posted 20 victories. During the season, the Orioles had eight winning streaks of at least five games including an 11-game winning streak to end the season.

Fast forward to 2010 and just about the only similarity between the 1970 Orioles and the 2010 version is the team name.

The Orioles enter June 26th with the worst record in baseball at 21-52. Their current two game winning streak marks the fifth time so far this season the Orioles have won two or more games in a row and their longest winning streak in 2010 is three straight games, something they have done twice. Read the rest of this entry →

Boog Powell 4

Posted on July 15, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Boog Powell

Boog Powell

Each week we will recall the career of a former sports standout for one of the sports teams in Baltimore as the Baltimore Vintage Athlete of the Week. Our first weekly pick is one of the “larger than life” heroes of the great Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1960s and 1970s.

Given the super-sizing of professional baseball players in recent years, a 6-4, 240 pound player may not seem all that special, but in the 1960s and 1970 when most players were shaped like string beans, Boog Powell was hard to miss. With tree trunks for arms that looked even larger when wearing the Orioles tight fitting gray uniform top, Boog Powell spent more than a decade launching mammoth home runs and playing first base for the Baltimore Orioles.
Read the rest of this entry →

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