Manny Machado hit his first two major league home runs against the Kansas City Royals’ Luke Hochevar on Aug. 10, becoming the youngest Orioles player to record a multi-homer game. That honor previously belonged to one John Wesley “Boog” Powell who, like Machado, got his first two major league home runs in the same game.
Powell’s first four career home runs came as part of multi-homer games, and they were all two-run shots. Powell homered twice against the Twins on May 2, 1962. He followed that up with a second two-homer game on May 15, 1962.
After striking out in the top of the first inning at Minnesota on May 2, Powell hit a 370-foot, two-run bomb to right field off Jim Kaat in the third inning following a Jackie Brandt triple. He added a 340-foot, two-run shot to left field, again scoring Brandt, in the fifth inning against Ted Sadowski. He had a fly out and a ground out in his final at-bats of the day and finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs as part of a 6-5 O’s victory.
Those would be Powell’s only homers until two weeks later, when he hit career home runs numbers three and four on May 15 at Memorial Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels. He homered to right field in the first and third innings and then singled in the sixth inning. The Angels intentionally walked Powell in the seventh inning. He finished the day 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored as part of a 7-1 O’s victory.
Powell finished the 1962 season with 15 home runs. He would post a career-high 39 home runs two seasons later to power a league-high .606 slugging percentage. Powell had 20 two-homer games in his career and hit three home runs in a game three times.
Powell debuted with the Orioles at age 20 in the waning days of the 1961 season. He and Machado are two of five Orioles position players to debut prior to the age of 21. The others are Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Eugene Kingsale.
With the Little League World Series in full swing, it’s also worth mentioning that Powell is one of 11 individuals to have played in both the Little League World Series and the Major League World Series. He and Jim Barbieri became the first players to hold the distinction when they both competed in the 1966 World Series. Powell played in the 1954 Little League World Series as a member of the Lakeland, Fla., team.
Matthew Taylor blogs about the Orioles at Roar from 34. His ruminations about the Birds appear as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.