An immense lefthanded slugger, Powell batted cleanup for the Orioles for over a decade and helped them to the WS four times in six years from 1966 to 1971. Standing slightly over 6’4″ and weighing at least 230 lb, Powell had bulging biceps and a thick neck, as well as a youthful-looking face topped by a shock of reddish hair. He batted behind Frank Robinson beginning in 1966 to form half of Baltimore’s fearsome power combination, and in the field he was an ample target at first base as well as a master at scooping low throws from the dirt.
Powell joined the Orioles after leading the International League in home runs at Rochester in 1961, and spent his first three seasons as a slow-footed left fielder before switching to first base in 1965. Offensively, he was an immediate success, hitting 25 HR in 1963, then leading the AL in slugging percentage (.606) in 1964 while blasting a career-high 39 HR despite missing several weeks because of a broken wrist. He slumped to .248 with 17 HR in 1965, then won AL Comeback Player of the Year honors in 1966 (.287, 34 HR, 109 RBI) while being hampered by a broken finger.
Before the 1967 season, Powell lamented, “Once, just once, I’d like to through a whole season without an injury,” and he did just that, playing over 150 games each of the next three seasons. In 1968 he hit a career-high .304 with 37 HR and 121 RBI, and in 1970 he was the AL MVP, narrowly missing a .300 average on the last day of the season and hitting 35 more HR with 114 RBI. In the WS, Powell homered in the first two games as the Orioles whipped the Reds. Powell helped Baltimore to a third straight WS the following year, blasting a pair of home runs in Game Two of the ALCS, but he hit only .111 in the WS as Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh in seven games.
The aging slugger was traded to Cleveland with Don Hood for Dave Duncan and a minor leaguer before the 1975 season, and he hit .297 with 27 HR for the Indians that year, but he hit only nine home runs in 1974 and none as a pinch hitter for the Dodgers in 1975. Powell hit three home runs in a game three times, and is second only to Eddie Murray on the Orioles all-time home run list.