With a tip of the hat to the always-timely 30-Year-Old Cardboard blog, today marks the 38th anniversary of Frank Robinson's 500th career home run. As I read Brian's description of the event, I noticed many uncanny similarities to Eddie Murray's 500th longball, which occurred 25 years later. Observe:
Both were hit in September games in Baltimore against the Tigers. In both instances, the O's were bound for the playoffs (as the A.L. East champs in 1971 and as the A.L. Wild Card in 1996). They were trailing in each game at the time of the milestone home run, though Eddie's blast tied the score. Both men were batting behind fellow Oriole greats (Boog Powell and Cal Ripken, Jr., respectively).
There's more to the story, though. Both of these first-ballot Hall of Famers grew up in California, and both were traded from the Orioles to the Dodgers. They each played for the Indians and Angels as well. Frank played his last major league game in 1976, when he was player/manager of the Indians. Eddie played his first major league game the following April. Of course, Robby also managed Murray during the woeful 1988 season. Pretty wild, huh?