This year’s Orioles remind Boog Powell of the 1966 World Series team – Reading Eagle

A few years ago, when Boog Powell looked at the organization in which he won two World Series championships and an MVP award while struggling through back-to-back 100-loss seasons, he could only shake his head.

“What are they doing?” – Powell would think. “Why are they playing like that?”

The first baseman, who played for the Orioles from 1961 to 1974, was used on competitive teams. During Powell’s tenure, Baltimore finished with a record below .500 twice. His longevity and career .822 OPS have earned him a place as an Orioles legend — as well as his own a barbeque stand along Yeutau street at Camden Yards.

But when Powell sits down to watch the Orioles play this season — or as he watched Saturday’s game from Camden Yards when his pup was given away — it’s a different feeling. The 81-year-old’s excitement is growing with what’s building in Baltimore and the wild-card race is on.

“All of a sudden, everything came together,” Powell said. “Everything looked like they were doing the right thing. They know what they are doing.” They’re suddenly doing the right thing, and I love it. I’m in love with this team, really.”

Powell remains a popular figure in Baltimore. When he took the field before the game, the fans shouted his name from the stands. The line for his barbeque stretched along Utah Street, and fans carried his bum.

But before Powell became an icon in these parts, he was a 12-year-old playing for his Florida Little League team, finding his way to Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. That’s where the Orioles are headed on Sunday when they face the Boston Red Sox The Little League Classic on ESPNand Powell remembered his trip there.

He and his brother jumped into the creek near their home and screamed, unaccustomed to the freezing northern temperature of the water. The all-you-can-eat dining room is still a fond memory — “When you’re 12, you can eat a lot,” Powell said.

Powell helped his team win the regional championship in North Carolina by playing Friday and Sunday and playing in between. Then, as he struggled to raise his arm, Powell and his team traveled by train from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to Williamsport, stopping in Washington on the way to climb the Washington Monument.

“When we were in North Carolina, we found some tobacco, rolled up whole tobacco leaves and smoked them,” Powell said with a laugh in the Orioles’ dugout. “We had a good time. I felt dizzy, I couldn’t understand why. “Why the hell am I dizzy?”

All these adventures added up to one of his favorite experiences, laying the groundwork for becoming the first player to play in both the Minor League World Series and the Major League Baseball World Series.

That first experience came in 1966 when the Orioles won their first championship. Powell manned first base. Three Hall of Famers were central figures. There was a winning spirit in the clubhouse and you could see it on the pitch every night.

Now, as Powell watches the Orioles’ streak this season, he has a similar feeling.

“It kind of reminds me of 1966, how we felt as a team going out there,” Powell said. “We knew we were going to knock you out [butt]. That’s what these guys are like. Here’s what I see in their actions and reactions on the field. They are very exciting and they have fun too. That’s the bottom line: they have fun.”


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