Today in Orioles History: Brady Anderson's lead-off HR binge

1996 was a very good year for Brady Anderson (Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

On this day in 1996 the Baltimore Orioles played the Texas Rangers in a game that they lost 9-6. But before the Rangers took a healthy lead (it was 9-3 going into the ninth inning when the O's rallied), Brady Anderson got things started with a lead-off home run. 1996 was, of course, the year the Anderson went crazy and hit 50 home runs at the plate, more than twice as many as he hit in any other single season. But what was special about this home run on this night was that it was the fourth consecutive night that he lead off a game with a home run (one game against the Boston Red Sox followed by three against the Texas Rangers).

Anderson hit 44 lead-off home runs in his career, and to do it in four consecutive games is pretty spectacular. The last three were on the road, so Anderson gave the team a lead before the Orioles pitcher took the mound. And although 1996 was a good year for the O's, sadly none of Brady's home runs helped them win the game as they went 0-4 in the stretch, which included a very ugly 26-4 loss to the Rangers on April 19th. But not much of that losing streak can be blamed on Anderson, as in the four-game stretch he went 8-for-16 three walks and five home runs.

Most of you probably know that Anderson worked with Nolan Reimold when he was struggling after coming back from injury and was in the minors. Did Anderson's help contribute to Reimold's current hot streak at the plate? We'll never know, of course, but if Reimold keeps it up he could become a lead off hitter built in a similar mold to Anderson. He has speed and power, and he also just hit home runs in four consecutive games (although not leading off; Nolan prefers the late-inning heroics). He'll never be the defensive outfielder that Anderson was, but if any Oriole could match Anderson's feat of lead-off home runs in four consecutive games, it's Reimold.

Thanks to Baseball Reference's Bullpen Wiki for the tip.

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