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The all-time Orioles home run leaders by position

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The Padres recently set a sad, sad record - how do the Orioles franchise home run records look?

Patrick McDermott

Full disclosure, right off the bat -- this post is not exceptionally original.  Our SB Nation overlords recently picked up on Jedd Gyorko setting the Padres' all-time record for home runs by a second baseman (31), and then went on to explore the saddest franchise home run records at each position around MLB.  And while I was happy to see that there were no Orioles in the saddest record list, I became curious about how the Orioles positional home run records would stack up, and also to see what kinds of names would pop up that I hadn't thought about in forever.  When Grant Brisbee did the same for the Giants, it seemed to inspire some nice walks down memory lane.

So, with no further ado, here are the Orioles all-time home run records, by position.  Only home runs hit while playing each position count, which is why some guys' totals may seem off from their Orioles career totals.  Active O's are in bold+italics.

C 1B 2B 3B SS
1st Chris Hoiles (142) Eddie Murray (295) Brian Roberts (89) Brooks Robinson (266) Cal Ripken (345)
2nd Gus Triandos (130) Boog Powell (216) Davey Johnson (65) Melvin Mora (114) Miguel Tejada (99)
3rd Matt Wieters (87) Rafael Palmeiro (216) Bobby Grich (60) Doug DeCinces (103) J.J. Hardy (84)
4th Rick Dempsey (74) Jim Gentile (122) Roberto Alomar (48) Cal Ripken (86) Mike Bordick (61)
5th Elrod Hendricks (52) Chris Davis (76) Jerry Adair (35) Leo Gomez (60) Ron Hansen (37)
6th Ramon Hernandez (47) Lee May (62) Rich Dauer (31) Tony Batista (58) Luis Aparicio (33)
7th Andy Etchebarren (46) Randy Milligan (56) Jerry Hairston (25) Manny Machado (33) Mark Belanger (20)
8th Mickey Tettleton (41) Jeff Conine (54) t7-Billy Gardner (25) Wayne Gross (31) Deivi Cruz (14)
9th Charles Johnson (37) Kevin Millar (43) Delino Deshields (14) Craig Worthington (29) Melvin Mora (9)
10th Javy Lopez (34) Mark Reynolds (34) t9-Billy Smith (14) Floyd Rayford (27) t9-Kiko Garcia (9)

1st B.J. Surhoff (88) Adam Jones (158) Frank Robinson (150) Harold Baines (107) Milt Pappas (11)
2nd Boog Powell (84) Brady Anderson (133) Nick Markakis (137) Lee May (61) Dave McNally (9)
3rd Gary Roenicke (78) Paul Blair (125) Ken Singleton (127) Eddie Murray (47) Jack Harshman (7)
4th John Lowenstein (61) Mike Devereaux (84) Jay Gibbons (77) Ken Singleton (46) Steve Barber (5)
5th Bob Nieman (60) Fred Lynn (83) Albert Belle (59) Luke Scott (45) t4-Ray Moore (5)
6th Brady Anderson (59) Jackie Brandt (64) Bobby Bonilla (31) Sam Horn (38) t4-Mike Cuellar (5)
7th Don Buford (53) Al Bumbry (36) Sam Bowens (29) Aubrey Huff (33) Jim Palmer (3)
8th Curt Blefary (50) Luis Matos (29) Merv Rettenmund (28) t7-Larry Sheets (33) t7-Eddie Watt (3)
9th Don Baylor (43) Corey Patterson (25) Lee Lacy (27) Tommy Davis (24) Jim Hardin (2)
10th Mike Young (39) Merv Rettenmund+1 (17) Eric Davis (26) Jay Gibbons (20) t9-Billy O'Dell+2 (2)

Some miscellaneous thoughts jumped out at me in the process of putting this together:

  • The Orioles really don't have a terrible, embarrassing franchise home run record.  Probably the closest one is left field (the saddest left field record in baseball is the Padres' Greg Vaughn with 72).  This is mainly because, as you can see from the list above, the Orioles seem to often use a hodgepodge of players to cover LF, a tradition that continues today with Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce, Delmon Young and David Lough.  Other recent vintage players like Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold did similar work.  The Orioles LF home run leader, B.J. Surhoff, also played a variety of positions over his Orioles seasons.
  • You can also see how the usage of the DH has changed, not just for the Orioles but for the league.  Instead of DH mainstays like Harold Baines, you see teams shuffling hitters through DH for platoon or defensive advantage on a given day, or to offer guys an odd day of rest.  The occasional David Ortiz aside, guys like Baines aren't common anymore, and that's a positional home run record you won't see touched any time soon.
  • It was interesting to see the number of Orioles who appeared on multiple lists, again showing a seeming franchise preference for defensive utility.  No current Oriole yet appears on two lists, but Chris Davis is only a DH dong away from tying Jay Gibbons and sneaking onto that leaderboard.  A couple of other recent Orioles (Mark Reynolds and Luke Scott) were only a few home runs away from snagging spots on a second list (third base and left field, respectively).
  • I wonder if any Oriole pitcher will ever even hit two home runs again, with just a handful of interleague games in NL parks per year.  The only active Oriole with a home run is Zach Britton, and if he's not converted back to a starter, he's unlikely to see another plate appearance with the Orioles.  The last Oriole pitcher to homer before Britton was Kris Benson, in 2006.
  • When you go deep enough into a franchise record, it's fun to see all the good-but-not-great names that emerge further down the lists.  The one that surprised me most by not appearing anywhere?  David Segui, who was a childhood favorite of mine for no good reason, and who I didn't realize only hit 33 Orioles home runs (and apparently hit them all over the diamond).
  • Man, does that SS ranking get shallow in a hurry at the end, mainly because of all the years that Cal and Bordick spent holding that position down.  If J.J. Hardy is not the Orioles shortstop next year, virtually any plausible replacement not named Flaherty is almost guaranteed to pop up onto that leaderboard by the end of the season.
  • Ryan Flaherty is the closest player to moving up in the team rankings, as he can enter a three-way tie for tenth place with just one more home run at second base.
  • Obviously, the best current Oriole in these particular rankings is Adam Jones, whose franchise record at CF could become damn near untouchable if his Orioles career continues apace from this point.

What jumps out at you about this list?  Sound off in the comments.