In 1978, the Baltimore Orioles was a team on the move, and little did they know that in the following season they would lose the World Series to the Pirates.
Despite finishing fourth out of seven in the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles were only 9 games back from the 100-win Yankees.
Every season has some notable moments, and the month of July belonged to Rich Dauer who at age 25 set a record worth remembering.
Orioles Got Lucky in Dauer’s Fourth MLB Draft
The second baseman might not be a household name to young Orioles fans, but after learning what he did in 1978, that might change. Dauer joined the O’s in 1974 in his fourth draft. Three other teams tried to get the right-handed second basemen from Southern California, but the Orioles were the lucky team to do it in the first round of ’74. He stayed with the O’s for his entire career which lasted for ten solid years.
The Multi-Hit Club Record
And, while we look at Dauer’s July feat that ended on July 28, it is worth nothing that he celebrated his 68th birthday on July 27.
On July 28, the Orioles faced the California Angels at Memorial Stadium. And, like the nine games preceding it, Dauer racked up two or more hits. By the time the game was over, Dauer had achieved a feat that was a first for a hitter from Birdland: he had 10 consecutive games with two or more hits.
Sadly, on July 29, the streak ended as Dauer only got on base once.
Let’s look at the 10-game streak that put Dauer in the Orioles record books for eternity. The streak began on July 18 in Baltimore and ended in Baltimore. During the 10-game streak, the Orioles played the Rangers, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, and Angels.
During the 10-game streak, he hit a slash of .500/.520/.604. In four of the games, he had three hits and in the other six, he had two in each game. He had five doubles, six RBI, two walks, and only two strike outs. He did not steal any bases, but was caught attempting twice.
A Second 1978 Record for Dauer
Also in 1978, Dauer was also rather adept on defense. He played 87 games at second base, and in the first 86 of them, he did not record any errors. This also set a team record. According to SABR, Dauer’s only error on a throw to Eddie Murray wasn’t really an error at all. Murray told the media that he should’ve caught the ball.
Multi-Hit MLB Streaks
The record for consecutive multi-hit games belongs to Rogers Hornsby who had 13 consecutive games with two hits or more in 1923. His streak began on July 5 and ended on July 18. His most notable game was against the Boston Braves on July 13 when he went 5-5. His slash in that 13-game streak was .589/.610/.946.
The most recent player to get close to Hornsby’s accomplishment was Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of the Blue Jays who had 11 multi-hit games between July 11 and July 29. His slash was .500/.519/.740.
For modern-era baseball players, eleven consecutive multi-hit games is the number to beat. But Dauer’s 10-game streak is still a record for the Orioles and definitely worth remembering.