Baltimore Orioles present might be empty, but the past is full of awe-inspiring events.
Robinson earned hit number 2000 in a game against the Washington Senators against pitcher Joe Coleman. The hit wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill single, it was a three-run homer.
And, it wasn’t just any old home run, it was a home run that made the Senators pay for their stupid decision giving Boog Powell an intentional walk. I probably don’t need to remind you that the O’s won the World Series that year, so any intentional walk would have been a stupid move by an opposing team.
Powell was given an intentional walk. And, a few batters before him, Don Buford was walked. It feels so good when your team makes those pitching mistakes and stupid decisions really hurt. And, Robinson did it with a no-doubter deep to left field.
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The decision to walk Powell is an odd one. His first at-bat against Coleman was a two-run home run in the first. Powell returned to the plate in the third with two runners on, and manager Ted Williams did not walk him then. Powell grounded out in that at-bat. But, in the fifth with one runner on, he did. In both situations, the teams were tied at two.
In 1970, the middle of the lineup was something to be feared. With Frank Robinson batting third, followed by Powell then Brooks Robinson, opposing teams had to worry. That day, the O’s beat the Senators by a score of 5-4.
Unfortunately, the Orioles and Senators did not have a deep rivalry like the O’s and Nationals do today. Remember, the Senators had two iterations: one team became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. The second became the Texas Rangers in 1972. Over the years, the Orioles had their way with both groups of Senators winning 64% of their 350 meetings between 1954 and 1971.
In his 23-year career, Robinson went on to get 2,848 hits in 2,896 games – all in an Orioles uniform. He is currently in 48th in the all-time hits leader board. Frank Robinson is in 35th with 2,943, and Powell is down in the 400s with 1,776.
And, because that hit was a home run, it’s worth noting that Robinson finished his career with 268 dingers. Considering the guys at the top have over 700 of them, Robinson is in the 199th spot on the career list. Frank Robinson is in 10th with his 586, and Powell hit 339, putting him at the 102nd spot.