Jim Rogash, Getty Images
September 17, 2013
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis breaks Brady Anderson's team record for home runs.
There was nothing cheap about his record-setting blast.
On a chilly September night in Boston, Orioles slugger Chris Davis slammed his 51st home run into the bleachers in dead center field against the soon-to-be world champion Red Sox. The homer tied a game that Baltimore would eventually win and broke the club mark of 50 homers set in 1996 by Brady Anderson, who surprised Davis afterward with a congratulatory hug in the clubhouse.
Davis' homer capped a stellar season for the 27-year-old first baseman, who'd matched a big league record by homering in each of the Orioles' first four games in April. A fluke? Surely Davis would cool, having struggled at the plate for much of his career.
Instead, the man fans called "Crush" proved the linchpin for a team that finished with a winning record for a second straight season.
Then, on Sept. 17, he tagged a 2-1 pitch from Boston's Ryan Dempster -- who'd struck Davis out twice earlier -- for No. 51 in a game that kept the Orioles' waning playoff hopes alive, for the moment. A Red Sox fan returned the ball to Davis, who finished with an American League-leading 53 home runs and 138 RBIs.