The Baltimore Orioles are 47-36 and just 2 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East. One of the biggest reasons for Baltimore’s success so far has been the emergence of Chris Davis as a legitimate Triple Crown contender.
Davis is currently on pace to have one of the greatest offensive seasons in Orioles franchise history and has already set the franchise record for the most home runs by the end of June with 31.
Before we diagnose how Davis’s projections look, let’s first show what he is up against with the greatest seasons in Orioles franchise history.
Davis may be emerging as a legit threat for a Triple Crown, but Frank Robinson always had that stigma and even won the 1966 Triple Crowns while with the Birds. He has gone down as one of the greatest Baltimore Orioles players of all time and his number 20 is forever immortalized in Baltimore folklore. He has a statue out behind the bullpens to show he is one of the six greatest Orioles of all time. Robinson had several amazing seasons in an Orioles uniform, but the one that stands out is his MVP and Triple Crown season of 1966 when he hit .316 with 49 home runs, 122 RBI and scored 122 runs.
Although he is not immortalized with a statue in Camden Yards, Boog Powell has a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Orioles fans. Powell is a former MVP and of course the wonderful creator of Boogs Bar-B-Que out behind the flag court in Camden Yards. He may have won an MVP award in 1970, but his best season was 1969 when he hit .304 with 37 home runs and 121 RBI while scoring 82 runs and walking 104 times.
Another one of those statues out there behind the bullpens in Camden Yards, Eddie Murray had numerous great seasons with the Birds as well. The one that sticks out the most for the first baseman was 1983 when he finished runner-up for the MVP as he hit .306 with 33 homers, 111 RBI, 115 runs scored and he drew 86 walks. In the '83 season, he also won a Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award as well.
Cal Ripken Jr. won two MVP awards with the Birds, one in 1983 (beat out Murray) which happens to be the last time the Orioles won the World Series, and his second in 1991. His best season came in that 1991 MVP season when he hit .323 with 34 home runs, 114 RBI, 99 runs scored and 46 doubles. Cal also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award in '91 as well.
Among the out of nowhere greatest seasons in Orioles history, Brady Anderson’s explosion in 1996 is by far near the top. In the leadoff spot, he hit .297 with 50 home runs (franchise record for a season), 110 RBI, 117 runs scored and stole 21 bases.
Lastly, before we get to Davis’s projections, often overlooked in best seasons in Orioles history was the 2004 performance by shortstop Miguel Tejada. In 2004, he hit .311 with 34 home runs, 150 RBI, 107 runs scored, 40 doubles and won a Silver Slugger Award as well.
Now we come to the man of the hour, Crush Davis. Currently Davis is hitting .332 with 31 homers 80 RBI, 60 runs scored and 25 doubles. If he were to somehow stay on this phenomenal pace, he would finish the season with a .332 batting average, while hitting 61 home runs, 158 RBI, and 118 runs scored.
It is impossible to compare different era’s in baseball history, but there is no denying that if Davis were to remain anywhere near his current pace, his 2013 season will go down as one of, if not the best offensive season in Orioles franchise history.
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