3. Boog Powell — 303 home runs
He may not be in the Hall of Fame, but very few Orioles have reached the highs achieved by Boog Powell. The burly first baseman was among the most feared hitters in the American League for much of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Born John Wesley Powell in 1941, Boog was a star on Florida’s high school baseball scene before signing with the Orioles in 1959. He had his best offensive season in 1964, when his .606 slugging percentage led the league, but he didn’t earn his first All-Star berth until four years later.
Along with greats like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer, Powell was a part of the core that drove the Orioles to World Series titles in 1966 and 1970. A .262/.324/.437 hitter in October, his playoff resume was nothing special, but he did launch some timely home runs.
Speaking of 1970, that was the year Powell won his MVP Award, becoming the first American League first baseman to get the honor since Jimmie Foxx in 1938 (I’m not counting Harmon Killebrew’s 1969 win — he started most of his games at third that year). At 28, Powell’s star had never been bigger.
He wasn’t so fortunate in the next few years — his playing time shrunk considerably thanks to Earl Weaver’s penchant for platoons. He was traded to the Indians in 1975, enjoying one more good season before declining and hanging up his spikes at age 36. The sudden fizzle prevented him from reaching major hitting milestones, but for a few years, no player in the AL East was as feared as Boog Powell.