SABR 50 convention in Baltimore

SABR 50: Listen to highlights from Orioles legend Boog Powell

Baltimore Orioles legend Boog Powell at SABR 50 in BaltimoreAt SABR 50 in Baltimore, Orioles legend Boog Powell was a featured speaker in a one-on-one interview with Dan Connolly of The Athletic on August 20, 2022.

Powell is one of the most beloved Baltimore Orioles players in the team’s storied history. He played first base and outfield for 17 major-league seasons from 1961 to 1977, winning two World Series championships with the O’s in 1966 and ’70. He earned American League MVP honors in 1970 and finished his career with 339 home runs. Since 1992, when the Orioles began playing at Camden Yards, he has operated Boog’s BBQ on Eutaw Street, a must-visit attraction for any baseball fan.

Here are some highlights:

On the 1966 World Series-winning Orioles

  • “That team reminds me a lot of what’s happening to this Orioles team right now (in 2022). You see how they’re together and how they’re starting to click a little bit. We started (having) that same feeling that these guys (have), I can feel it, in their bones because I was there. It’s really great to come to the ballpark every day knowing that you’re going to kick somebody’s ass. … We played great defense and we didn’t make any mistakes. We didn’t beat ourselves. It was a lot of fun.”

On losing to the Miracle Mets in 1969

  • “I still don’t know how that happened. I was so disappointed. … We had such a huge lead in the American League. I think we were flat. We weren’t playing with all the emotion that we could have played with. Nothing went right. (Mets catcher) Jerry Grote once told me, ‘You guys weren’t dirty. If you check our uniforms and look at the films, (the Orioles) were just as clean as could be. We were dirty.’ ”

On winning the MVP award in 1970

  • “I didn’t have as good a year (as I did in 1969)! I only hit 35 homers and drove in 100 runs. I only hit .297 (after hitting .304 with 37 homers and 121 RBIs in 1969). … When Earl (Weaver) took over in 1968, he gave me the green light at first base. I stole (seven) bases that year. I was pretty tricky out there. … I swear I learned more baseball sitting in the lounge talking to Brooksie and Frank, and guys who had been around for a while, than I did on the field.”

On playing with Brooks Robinson at third base

  • “If nobody catches those balls, it’s an E-5! He won a car from Sport Magazine. He won a Corvette, and I said I want half of that. I used to keep a running tab in my locker, a piece of paper, and every time I saved him, I put a little mark. … But it was just an honor and a treat to walk out on the field with Brooks Robinson every day. Not only because I loved him as a man, but because of the way that he worked.”

On the Orioles’ kangaroo court

  • “We only did it when we won, never when we lost. And we did it a lot. Frank (Robinson) had this mop that he’d put on his head, he was the judge. There were no writers, no outside people allowed, just ballplayers. … There were certain things like runner on third, less than two outs, and you didn’t get him in, that’d be a dollar. Or you’d make an error, that’d be two dollars. … And then it expanded into personal lives, then we started looking for stuff like scratching yourself in the field. That’d be two dollars. … That’s the kind of camaraderie we had, and Frank was a big part of that. … I still have very, very deep feelings and love for my teammates. It’s almost like no time has passed. … It was a great life and it was great fun.”

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At SABR 50, Dan Connolly of The Athletic (right) interviews Orioles great Boog Powell on August 20, 2022.


Originally published: August 24, 2022. Last Updated: August 24, 2022.