Orioles’ Connor Norby Uses 1 Word to Describe His First Career HR

Connor Norby

Getty Connor Norby reacts after hitting a home run during a June 4 game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Two games is all it took for Baltimore Orioles‘ second baseman Connor Norby to notch his first career home run. He sent an 86 mph slider 370 feet into left field against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Norby used the word “unreal” to describe his first MLB home run experience, when speaking with reporters postgame.

“Unreal,” Norby told MASN. “That was the coolest thing I’ve done playing baseball for sure. I got a lot of sleep last night. I don’t know how much sleep I’ll get tonight after that one. But that’s pretty cool.”

Norby joins Gunnar Henderson and Heston Kjerstad among current Orioles players to go out of the park in their first MLB hit.

Called up the day prior to replace an injured Jorge Mateo, the 23-year-old second baseman was 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts in his first appearance on June 3.

He told Baltimore’s broadcasting booth postgame that he lost the butterflies in his stomach going into his second game.

“During BP, I didn’t have as many butterflies as I did yesterday,” Norby said. “So I thought today would be a little bit better, and I would feel a little bit more settled in…Didn’t have some good results early on, but I just kept sticking with it. I put a good swing on a ball.”

Norby went 0-for-3 again before making contact in his last at-bat of the night. His first hit is his first home run, and with that, his MLB career is off and running.

Hyde, Mountcastle Praise Norby

Outfielder and fellow 2021 draftee Colton Cowser poured water over Norby during his postgame interview with the Baltimore broadcasting booth.

But the love from the team didn’t stop there. Team manager Brandon Hyde congratulated Norby during his postgame interview.

“It was a slider, he got an off-speed pitch there, put a great swing on it,” Hyde said on June 4. “That was fun to watch him. Congratulations to him. Happy first hit to be a homer.”

First baseman and star of the night Ryan Mountcastle chimed in as well.

“That was awesome,” Mountcastle told MASN. “The whole dugout was going nuts for him. Super happy for the kid. He’s having a great career. Super excited to see it.”

Mountcastle had himself a night, hitting career home runs number 87 and 88 just two innings apart. Baltimore put away Toronto, 10-1.

Does Norby Have a Chance to Finish the Year in Baltimore?

Norby’s time with the Orioles has been on the clock since his arrival, given the circumstances with Mateo who’s on the 7-Day Injured List.

It’s unlikely he’ll keep the job as starting second baseman when the 28-year-old veteran returns. But could he stick in Baltimore?

Norby will have to make good of his opportunity on both sides of the ball.

Mateo isn’t an offensive juggernaut by any means, though he’s seen a resurgence at the plate in 2024, slashing .246/.294/.447 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs. His calling card has always been his base running and defense.

Neither of which, are strong suits for Norby.

But if the 23-year-old can make some more contact over the next few games, and keep a steady hand at the second base bag, he’ll give the Orioles something to think about.

Mateo’s flexible. He’s got a history at shortstop but made a claim on second base with his defense this season.

Any off days at shortstop could mean a return to his old position and Norby filling in. Or the Orioles’ latest prospect to debut could simply fill in for any of Mateo’s off days.

Veteran infielder Ramon Urias seems to stand as the biggest obstacle in Norby’s way. He’s spent time back and forth between second and third base as needed for injury and/or rest.

It doesn’t help Norby’s case that Urias has got 2 of his 3 home runs on the year in his last four games. But the July 29 trade deadline is coming up, and the former Gold Glove could play a larger role elsewhere.

It’s an uphill climb for Norby, but so was his 198 appearance Triple-A career before he received his call to the majors.

The seven empty at-bats before his first MLB home run were no smooth sail either.

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