We all knew Manny Machado was doing some impressive things in his young career.
Here’s a little historical perspective: He is the youngest Oriole to reach 100 home runs with the club in its rich history, according to Stats LLC.
“I don’t ever take it for granted, what he’s doing,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He spoils us with a great level of play and, unfortunately, sometimes I think we’re all guilty of it. When he makes some of the plays that he makes that nobody else makes and he does some of the things offensively that very few people do, all of a sudden, if he doesn’t do it every time, he almost spoils you with the level of play. But it’s so hard to do what he does … what he’s doing at a young age (or) whether it’s an old age.”
With his fifth inning blast against Toronto’s J.A. Happ on Tuesday, Machado joined the 100-homer club at age 24 years and 55 days. The previous club record belonged to Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray, who hit his 100th on Aug. 19, 1980 in California at the age of 24 years, 177 days.
Murray took the top spot from Boog Powell, who hit his 100th on May 8, 1966 versus Cleveland. Powell was 24 years, 264 days old.
Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is now fourth on the list. His 100th came Aug. 15, 1985 versus the Texas Rangers at age 24 and 356 days.
That’s two Hall-of-Famers and an Orioles legend.
“It’s an honor just to be in the conversation as those guys,” Machado said. “Those guys played the game the right way, did a lot for this game and obviously it paid off for them. So any time I can be mentioned in the same category as them is just a blessing.”
Machado is also the third fastest Oriole to reach 100 homers based on number of games played at 578, trailing only Powell (564) and Chris Hoiles (577).
Machado made his big league debut with the Orioles on Aug. 9, 2012. He hit his first two homers the next night against Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar. Ninety-eight blasts later and he is in the 100 club.
“It’s a big number. It’s a huge number. Not a lot of guys have 100. To get to that milestone is something that I’m never going to forget. And just getting this ‘W,’” Machado said. “Every time I get a milestone or something, (if) it comes out with a ‘W’ it just makes it a lot better. … It’s very humbling.”
To further put what Machado has done into context, Matt Wieters’ home run in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 5-3 Orioles win was the catcher’s 112th homer – in parts of eight seasons. And he, too, was considered a wunderkind when he debuted at age 23 in 2009.
“He got there a lot quicker than I did, man,” Wieters said, laughing. “But it’s impressive to watch. Not only is he able to drive the ball out of the ballpark, he’s a complete hitter and he can hit the ball the other way. He’s fun to watch hit, and I think he’s just going to get better.”
That’s a scary thought. But Machado said he now has his eye on another milestone: Playing in a World Series.
“Everyone in here works to get to certain situations and I finally got to one. I reached one, I could knock it out, knock it out of my checklist,” Machado said. “Now is a time to keep playing baseball and try to knock out another one off my checklist, which is to try to help this team get somewhere that it hasn’t been in a long time.”