Top 27 Single-Season Orioles RBI Leaders

single-season Orioles RBI leaders

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Matt Musico

Since the Baltimore Orioles were established as a franchise in 1901, there have been 69 different performances of a player surpassing the 100 RBI mark (nice). But which hitters are among the single-season Orioles RBI leaders? That’s what we’re here to discuss.

First, we’ll go into detail about the top five on Baltimore’s leaderboard before listing out the remainder of the top 27.

Single-Season Orioles RBI Leaders: Top 5

Ken Williams: 155 RBI in 1922

Ken Williams built himself up to his career year in the power department during the 1922 season. He had six homers and 35 RBI in 1919, followed by 10 dingers and 72 RBI in 1920, and 24 homers with 117 RBI in 1921. To go along with those league-leading 155 RBI, he also led the league with 39 homers and 367 total bases while slashing .332/.413/.627.

Williams played his home games at Sportsman Park III, which was his preferred setting for ballgames. Across 77 contests (335 plate appearances), the outfielder slugged 32 homers with 102 RBI and a 1.238 OPS. Those numbers were head-and-shoulders above what he did on the road in 76 games (343 plate appearances). He hit just seven homers with 56 RBI and a .840 OPS.

Miguel Tejada: 150 RBI in 2004

Miguel Tejada had already established himself as a premier offensive shortstop by the time he landed with the Orioles in 2004. He joined Baltimore on the heels of four straight years with at least 27 homers and 106 RBI. That went into overdrive for the O’s, though, as he slugged 34 dingers with a league-leading 150 RBI during his first Silver Slugger Award campaign.

Tejada split his RBI production right down the middle, driving in 75 runs both before and after the All-Star break. He posted at least 20 RBI in a month five times, which included two months of 30-plus (30 in July, 32 in September/October). The right-handed slugger was understandably a monster with runners in scoring position, driving in 112 runs with a .923 OPS in just 244 plate appearances.

Rafael Palmeiro: 142 RBI in 1996

While a lot of attention in 1996 was on Brady Anderson setting the Orioles’ single-season home run record with 50 taters, Rafael Palmeiro was busy driving in bunches of runs. He paired 39 homers to go along with those 142 RBI. This was the second straight year he went 30-100 at the plate. It was a streak that would last another eight (!) years until 2003.

Consistency in the RBI department was the name of Raffy’s game in 1996 with Baltimore. He drove in 30 runs during June and 27 in August. His RBI totals landed between 20 and 22 every other month of the season. Palmeiro drove in 10-plus runs against nine different teams during this campaign. He pummeled two teams more than others, though. This included the A’s (20 RBI in 13 games) and the Detroit Tigers (17 RBI in 13 games).

Jim Gentile: 141 RBI in 1961

Jim Gentile appeared in 16 games for the Dodgers from 1957-58 without much results. He produced a .494 OPS with just five hits in 41 plate appearances. The next time he appeared in the big leagues was with the Orioles in 1960, which began a dominant run for him. He finished third in Rookie of the Year Award voting after slugging 21 homers with 98 RBI in 464 plate appearances. That was followed by a second straight All-Star campaign in 1961 that included 141 RBI (which led the league) and 46 homers. These efforts resulted in a third-place finish in MVP Award voting.

The first baseman morphed into a different hitter when the Orioles were on the road in 1961. He had a .989 OPS with 15 homers and 63 RBI at home, but those numbers jumped up to 1.139, 30, and 88, respectively, as a visiting player. Gentile also loved starting fast. He hit .338/.426/.818 with 16 extra-base hits (five doubles, one triple, 10 homers) and 41 RBI in the first inning of games.

Chris Davis: 138 RBI in 2013

The 2013 season was a banner campaign for Chris Davis in many ways. He set the Orioles’ single-season home run record with 53 bombs, making him one of just two Baltimore hitters to surpass the half-century mark. He was also selected to his only career All-Star Game and won his only Silver Slugger Award while finishing third in AL MVP Award voting.

Davis had to be solid at the plate from start to finish to reach the heights he did. However, he made most of his money with an outrageous first half. He entered the All-Star break with 37 home runs and 93 RBI with a 1.109 OPS. That was followed by 16 homers and 45 RBI with a .854 OPS following the midsummer classic. Davis didn’t finish with fewer than 22 RBI in any of the first three months of the season. Over the final three months, he only surpassed 20 once (23 in August). If he didn’t slump in September/October (six homers, 16 RBI, and a .755 OPS), who knows where his season-long numbers would’ve ended up?

Single-Season Orioles RBI Leaders: The Rest

As mentioned before, there have been 69 different 100-RBI performances in Orioles history. Here’s the remainder of the top 27:

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