As a fan of Orioles history, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Camden Yards on Saturday night to hear Hall of Famers Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson, and others celebrate the baseball life of the late Earl of Baltimore. At some point during the evening, I’ll amble out beyond the bullpens and pay my respects at Earl Weaver’s statue. I imagine it will be a popular stop for O’s fans that evening.
I have a second, less popular ballpark locale in mind to visit Saturday night, another bronze monument to yesteryear, albeit it smaller in stature and significance than Earl’s likeness. It sits beyond the right field seats and honors a former beloved Oriole, a guy who competed against Weaver but never played for him. The other spot I have in mind is Mickey Tettleton’s Eutaw Street home run plaque.
Saturday marks the 21-year anniversary of the first Eutaw Street home run, Tettleton’s 406-foot drive for the Detroit Tigers off Orioles starter Ben McDonald. Tettleton homered in his final series played at Memorial Stadium in 1991 and then did so twice in his first series played at Camden Yards the following year.
Two years removed from his brief, but memorable three-year tenure with the Birds, “Froot Loops” completed a run of back-to-back-to-back homers for the Tigers in the third inning of the April 20th game by depositing a ball some 26 feet from the Warehouse in right field. Slugger Sam Horn, who went deep for the Orioles in their 12-4 victory, pledged to hit the warehouse.
“When I hit one really good, I’ll hit the warehouse,” Horn said. “I may not be the first to do it and I don’t want to talk too much, but I will be putting in my effort.”
Horn, perhaps boosted by his 420-foot home run that day, which was the first ball hit into Camden Yards’ centerfield bleachers, obviously never lived up to his mighty, self-imposed expectation. Tettleton, meanwhile, delivered on the power potential he displayed during the Orioles’ 1989 “Why Not?” season.
Tettleton stroked a career-high 32 home runs in 1992 to go alongside a career-high and league-leading 122 walks for the Tigers. He hit 32 homers twice more in his career after the 1992 season.
It took four seasons at Camden Yards for an Orioles player to reach Eutaw Street. Kevin Bass did so on June 8, 1995.
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.