The 1990s era of baseball was filled with big home runs from over-sized players and the Baltimore Orioles had their fair share.
So much so that two (eventual) Baltimore Orioles hitters reach 300 home runs in the same game in 1998.
One reach the milestone while still wearing the Orioles colors, but the other hit number 300 in White Sox gear.
On July 17, the Orioles played the Anaheim Angels in California. Palmeiro was at his normal perch at first base, and batting fourth in the line up. That night, he went 3-4 with a double and a home run. He scored the two-run homer in the top of the eighth with Eric Davis on first off of Greg Cadaret.
The Orioles won the game 4-1.
The same night, the White Sox played the Indians at Comiskey Park. Belle was in left field for the Sox, and like Palmeiro, batting fourth. Like Palmeiro, he was the second hitter of the inning, but his home run was a solo in the bottom of the sixth. Belle’s home run was off of Charles Nagy. The White Sox ended up winning that game 4-3 in after Robin Ventura hit a walk-off solo home run.
It’s a very 90’s thing for a pair of hitters to reach the iconic 300-HR milestone on the same night. Belle was 31 years old when he hit his 300th home run. Palmeiro was 33 years old.
Unfortunately, they never played together as Belle played with the O’s in 1999 and 2000 before retiring. In 1999, Palmeiro signed with the Texas Rangers and stayed with them for five seasons before returning to the O’s in 2004 and 2005. Could you imagine what the O’s would have been like with those two hitters on the same squad?
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The hitters never crossed paths on AL All-Star Teams either. Despite Palmeiro’s four All-Star Games and Belle’s five, they represented their teams in different years.
Both men were frequent members of the Top-10 Home Runs in a season list. In 1995, Belle topped the list with 50, and Palmeiro sat a few spots below him with 39. Palmeiro’s best home-run season was 1999 where he hit 47 for the Rangers. In that year with the O’s, Belle knocked 37 out of the park.
Palmeiro eventually reached 569 home runs after playing 20 seasons in the MLB. In Belle’s 12 seasons, he hit 381 bombs. Palmeiro is sitting comfortably in the 13th position on the career home-run list, but Belle’s spot at #72 continues to move with active players passing him by.
Belle’s final home run of his career was on October 10, 2000 at Camden Yards. Palmeiro’s was on July 30, 2005, also at Camden Yards.
Neither hitter is a member of the Hall of Fame. Palmeiro’s problem is his connection to steriods, Belle didn’t garner enough votes most likely because he was difficult with the media.