Baltimore Orioles rookie Ryan Mountcastle has broken Cal Ripken Jr.’s rookie home run record
The 2021 season for the Baltimore Orioles and their fans has provided many events that both parties would like to forget. This season has also brought many historical moments in the franchise’s storied history that players and fans alike may never forget. One of those events occurred during Thursday’s matchup, in which the Orioles welcomed the New York Yankees to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
First baseman Ryan Mountcastle seized an opportunity in the bottom of the sixth inning and got ahold of a fastball to break the Baltimore Orioles’ rookie season home run record, a mark that was previously held by the one and only Cal Ripken Jr.
It has been 39 years since the Baltimore Orioles rookie single-season home run record has been broken. Anytime a player can break a record that Cal Ripken Jr. has held, it becomes a monumental event. Number 8 set the record at 28 home runs in 1982. In that season, Ripken had 93 RBIs and a batting average of .264 to go along with those 28 bombs.
Mountcastle has emerged as a top ballplayer for the O’s this season and this is just another case of it. The former first-round pick in 2015 has shown the coaches and management that he can be a building block for when the Orioles’ brass is expecting to be a contending baseball club in the future.
Currently, the 24-year-old is batting .261 with 81 RBIs to add to his 29 home runs in his full rookie campaign. Mountcastle showed the Baltimore Orioles’ staff that he deserved to be an everyday player in last year’s shortened season. In 35 games in 2020, he held a very solid batting average of .333. While his home run number of five was minimal, it is clear that Mountcastle put in the work and effort that was needed to improve his at-bat power performance.
When teams have seasons like the one the O’s are having in 2021, it is hard for fans, staff, and players to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Questions start to creep into people’s minds; When will the rebuild end? Will it even be successful? Who will even be on the team when they win? These and many other questions are completely understandable in these situations.
One thing is clear for the Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle is here and he is here to stay. He will be a name that Orioles fans will be cheering on for many years to come throughout Eutaw Street.