Baltimore Orioles: The best designated hitters in the team’s history

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 18: Mark Trumbo
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 18: Mark Trumbo /
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The very first Orioles player to swing the bat as a designated hitter was Terry Crowley, but he only filled the position in 23 games. In 1973, Tommy Davis was the full-time DH and played the position in 123 games. During his tenure in the American League, he started as DH in 441 games.

Davis played for 18 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and a few other teams. The majority of his time was spent with the Dodgers and Orioles. He was an All-Star in 1962 and 63 with the Dodgers. By the time he got to the Orioles in the middle of 1972, he was 33 years old and he completed three full seasons in Birdland.

In Birdland, he batted .293/.328/.376 with 24 home runs and 236 RBIs. When he wasn’t the DH, he manned first base – which is what tends to happen with DHs in games today. Davis played his final game in 1976 with the Royals.

With the Dodgers, he won two batting titles. In 1962, his batting average of .346 led the National League. The following year, his batting average of .326 did the same. In 1962, he finished third in the MVP vote, losing to Maury Wills and Willie Mays. Frank Robinson finished fourth that year.