Home > Baltimore Orioles, home runs > Orioles Prodigy Manny Machado Breaks Jim Palmer’s Franchise HR Record. Yeah, THAT Jim Palmer

Orioles Prodigy Manny Machado Breaks Jim Palmer’s Franchise HR Record. Yeah, THAT Jim Palmer

Manny Machado: He’s a better 20-year-old power hitter than a Hall of Fame pitcher

Kids today, they grow up so fast.

Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have shown that they belong at the MLB, and they are barely out of … high school (More on that in a few graphs).

Another man joined their ranks Friday night, Baltimore Oriole Manny Machado. Machado, 20, went 2-for-4 with a triple in his big-league debut Thursday.

By Friday, he was already putting his name in the franchise’s record book, no matter that this record is probably pretty close to the index in the Baltimore Orioles’ record book.

Machado, at 20 years and 35 days, joined Orioles greats, such as Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell, on the list of youngest player to hit a home run in team history. The last time someone younger than Machado hit a homer for Baltimore, it was 1965. And the player was Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer.


Yep. Jim Palmer.

Palmer actually hit a home run as a 19- and a 20-year-old. Of course, it would be another eight years before Ron Blomberg would come along with the installation of this newfangled designated hitter title and change the game forever, for better or worse.*

*Definitely better.

Interestingly enough — at least I think so — is that the youngest player to homer in Orioles history is another pitcher, Milt Pappas. He did it at 19 years, 74 days That power potential must have been what really turned the Reds on to him when they traded some washed-up outfielder for Pappas in 1965.

Machado also became the youngest O’s player to homer twice in the same game. Powell is the only other Oriole to have done that at the age of 20, and he did it twice in the season of 1962. And that something really unfortunate needs to happen to that one fan who caught both of Machado’s homers. Just to even things out.

Machado is the youngest player since at least 1918 to have a multi-HR game with no more than two games of MLB experience. Only 14 players have accomplished that at the age of 25 or younger, including 23-year-old Yasmani Grandal of the Padres earlier this season.

If Machado has another manly performance tonight, I’ll be able to only catch the highlights since I am headed to my 10-year high school reunion in a few minutes. It should be a fun night. Well, it should start out extremely awkward as I converse with people whose names I’ve forgotten and whom I have had no desire to see in the past decade. Here’s an expected sample:

Some guy: “Hey, Brian!”

Me: “Hey, man! What is up? (It’s easy to recognize me; I was the only kid in our huge graduating class in a wheelchair. But I have no idea what this kid’s name is)

Some guy: So cool to see you, bro! How have you been doing, man?!

(I will then proceed to recap seven years of college and three years post-grad in about 20 seconds, finishing with what I hope to be doing in three years)

Some guy: Sounds awesome, man. You’ll do so great, too. Since high school I have been ….”

(Yeah, OK, good for you. I couldn’t care less what comes next. I’m not listening to you right now because I’m trying to smoothly scan the room to find someone whom I actually talked to in high school. Preferably, a female. Although, I didn’t talk to many girls in high school …)

(Now I’m sad. I don’t know if I wanna go to this thing)

Me: (With some brilliant acting) “Is that right? Wow, man. That’s really cool.”

Some guy: “Yeah.”

Me: “Yeah.”

(Silence. Dead silence. But I gotta get out this!)

Me: Well, dude, if you ever wanna hang out, let me know. I’ll get your number later, alright?

Some guy: “That’d be great, Brian! See you around, man.”

(Yeah, see you in 15 years when I have to shell out another $70 to be at our 25-year reunion)

Then the drinking starts. So it should be a fun night.

Damn. Ten freaking years. We grew up fast.

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