Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rafael Palmeiro, 1996 Score Dugout Collection #88

Alright, this summer is shaping up in a way that's all too similar to every other Baltimore summer since 1998. But there are still moments of fun, and many of them have come from third baseman Mark Reynolds. His 2 home runs last night gave him 5 in 11 at-bats, 13 since June 1 (most in the majors in that span), and 20 for the season. I don't think any of them have been shorter than 400 feet; the dude just kills baseballs. Obviously power has been in short supply 'round these parts, so I found myself wondering just how long it has been since an Oriole player had more than 20 homers before the All-Star Break. If my crack research is correct, you'd have to go back to 1998, when Rafael Palmeiro had 26 heading into the Midsummer Classic en route to a season total of 43. Going forward from there:

-The following year, B.J. Surhoff went deep 20 times in the first half and finished the year with 28.

-In 2000, Charles Johnson had 20 big flies at the break and finished with 31 altogether. The last 10 HR he hit came with the White Sox after the July fire sale.

-In 2001, Jay Gibbons and Chris Richard tied for the team lead with 15 home runs...for the entire season. Ugh.

-Aaaand no one else has reached 20 in the first half in the past decade.

So Reynolds has already done something no Oriole has since 2000, and if he can hit one out in the next few games he'll be in even rarer company. Brady Anderson's 1996 tally of 30 homers at the break is probably out of reach...but never say never.

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