Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Chris Hoiles, 1997 Score #223
High Heat Stats posted a list of the all-time home run leaders who played exclusively for each franchise. In other words, anyone who played for more than one team is not eligible. This method produces some odd results, especially for expansion teams (like the Diamondbacks' home run king Rusty Ryal, with his career total of six HR). Even some teams that have been around for more than a century have had to share their top sluggers, leaving the Braves with Andres Thomas (42 HR) until Chipper Jones retires, the Athletics with Dick Green (80 HR), and the White Sox with Ron Karkovice (96 HR). Naturally, the Orioles make a good showing with Baltimore icons Cal Ripken, Jr. (431 HR) and Brooks Robinson (268 HR) leading the way. But Chris Hoiles is a strong third-place entry. Though he was a 19th-round pick of the Tigers in the 1986 draft, the soft-spoken catcher from Ohio came to the O's organization as part of a trade package for Fred Lynn in 1988 and made his major league debut the following year. Chris spent parts of 10 seasons in Charm City, and though various aches, pains, and bad breaks kept him from ever playing more than 127 games in a year, he finished his career with 151 home runs (10th-most among all Orioles). His single-season high was 29 longballs in 1993, but he averaged 27 HR per 162 games. It's incredible to think what he could've done if he had the durability and longevity of a Carlton Fisk or Gary Carter, but what he gave us was still pretty damn good.