Baltimore Orioles: Celebrating home run history as 10,000th approaches

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 21: Jonathan Schoop
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 21: Jonathan Schoop /

Some day very soon, one of the Baltimore Orioles batters will knock the team’s 10,000th home run out of the park.

Or will one of the Baltimore Orioles earn it as an in-the-park version?

Because this is such an important milestone, the Orioles want fans to get in on the action and make a prediction.

At the Orioles’ team website, fans can choose the player they think will hit the 10,000th home run. And, fans can get into more detail by choosing the inning that the home run will be hit and how many runners will be on base.

You can get in on the contest here.

The Orioles have also set up a web page that showcases several of the most memorable home runs in the franchise’s history. That page is here and includes vintage footage of dingers hit by Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Cal Ripken as well as other favorite sons of Birdland.

As we celebrate homers, check out this video of Ripken hitting a dinger in his final All-Star Game:

While we await the celebration of this epic number of home runs, let’s take a look at a few other notable home run stats from Orioles players. Even though the Baltimore Orioles have technically been in existence since 1901 in a few different forms, the only records we will look at are from the time that the Orioles move into Baltimore. That year was 1954 when the team moved into Memorial Stadium.

The very first Orioles home run

The very first home run by an Oriole was hit in 1954 on April 15 at Memorial Stadium by Clint Courtney. He was a catcher who batted left handed but caught with his right. He played with the St. Louis Browns and continued with the team when they became the Orioles. This first home run happened in the third game of the season which was against the Chicago White Sox. In 1955, the Orioles traded Courtney to the White Sox who then traded him to the Washington Nationals. Courtney eventually returned to the Birds in 1960 and was released in 1961. For a few seasons in the 1950s, he led the AL in some unlikely categories: Caught stealing as a catcher, stolen bases allowed as a catcher, double plays turned, passed balls, and fielding percentage.

The longest home run hit by an Oriole

The longest home run ever hit at home by an Orioles player was hit by none other than Frank Robinson. When he played, StatCast did not exist, so no one knows exactly how far it went and what the ball’s exit velocity and launch angle were, but where the ball landed was crystal clear. It landed out of Memorial Stadium. In fact, Robinson’s home run on May 8, 1966 went out of the park. It was beautifully memorialized by The Baltimore Sun’s Mike Klingaman who wrote:

"“Frank Robinson swung from the heels. The crowd of 49,516 rose as one to watch as the ball soared over the left-field wall — and kept climbing. It cleared the football press box, 50 rows of bleachers and a 12-foot TV camera stand sitting at the top of Memorial Stadium before it disappeared.”"

The longest home run hit at Camden Yards

The longest home run ever hit at Camden Yards does not belong to an Oriole or to Aaron Judge (although he has the hardest hit home run in the Statcast era at 121.1 miles per hour). This one actually belongs to Darryl Strawberry who hit one 465 feet to center field back in 1998. According to CBS Baltimore, the Oriole who hit the longest home run at Camden Yards was Jeffrey Hammonds who hit one 460 feet on September15, 1997.

More from Orioles History

Current players’ home run stats

The first home run of the 2017 Orioles season was hit by Mark Trumbo in the 11th inning in the first game of the season. He went deep to left field and gave the Orioles a walk-off win against the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a fitting way to start the season considering that Trumbo led the team and the AL with 47 home runs in 2016.

So far, in 2017, Jonathan Schoop is leading the Orioles with 20 home runs. Manny Machado is trailing close behind with 18. When it comes to the all-time home run leaders, the man in the number one spot should come as no surprise. Ripken finished with 431 home runs. The next three on the list are Eddie Murray with 343, Boog Powell with 303, and Brooks Robinson with 268. Sitting in the fifth spot is Adam Jones with 239.

Next: Will the Astros leave with a new closer?

In fact, several current Orioles are on the team’s top 50 all-time home runs list: Chris Davis, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy, and Jonathan Schoop. Will one of those Birds or a different one hit #10000? Make your guess and you could win big!