Baltimore Orioles: The five best first basemen in Orioles history
One of the biggest contributors on both the 1966 and 1970 World Series teams, Boog Powell remains one of the most impactful players in Baltimore Orioles history
Boog Powell started his career in Baltimore as a lumbering corner outfielder with poor defensive skills in 1961. In 1962 the Orioles moved him over to first on a part-time basis, introducing Powell to the position he’d handle for the majority of his career. By 1965, Powell was the primary first baseman for the Orioles, who were on their way to a lengthy stretch of dominance in the American League.
Powell showed flashes of greatness early on in his career, leading the majors in slugging percentage in 1964, with a .606 mark. That year, he hit 39 home-runs and finished 11th in AL MVP voting.
In 1966, Powell finished third in the AL MVP voting, finishing the year with a .903 OPS, but more importantly, he helped lead the Orioles to their first World Series title in franchise history.
Powell struggled through injuries in ’67, but he hit his peak from ’68-’71, making four straight All-Star appearances. In ’69, Powell posted a .942 OPS and 121 RBI, and finished second in MVP voting to Harmon Killebrew.
in 1970, Powell won the AL MVP award with a .962 OPS, 35 homers and 104 walks to just 80 strikeouts. Again, more importantly, Powell helped lead the Orioles to their second World Series title, posting a 1.187 OPS in the ’70 playoffs.
In his 14 years as a member of the Orioles, Powell hit .266/.362/.465 with 303 home-runs, which still stands as the third-most in franchise history. He’s one of four players in franchise history with over 1,000 RBI with the team, and his 889 walks rank fourth on the Orioles leaderboard.
Powell isn’t a Hall of Famer, therefore his number isn’t retired by the Orioles. But he’s one of the best players in Orioles history who hasn’t been honored with jersey retirement. His number may never be etched into Orioles history, but we’ll always remember those two World Series titles.