Gunnar Henderson stood there in awe.
He held onto his bat as his seventh-inning home run flew 462 feet, all the way to Eutaw Street.
Henderson, 91 games into his major league career, had hit the longest home run to hit Eutaw in Camden Yards history.
Eventually, after watching the ball land, Henderson snapped back, dropping his bat to round the bases. That was his third hit of the day — tying the career high he set two days ago — as the Orioles beat the Royals 11-3 to sweep the series.
“I feel like, when I finally get to the man-strength phase, I might be able to hit it a little further,” Henderson, still just 21, joked after the game.
Henderson will now have a plaque on Eutaw Street honoring the moment for the rest of the stadium’s history.
“It’s pretty cool to have one that’s on Eutaw Street,” he said. “This ballpark is really historic. It’s going to be a great memory for me, and I look forward to seeing [the plaque] out there.
This moment comes as Henderson is in the middle of the hottest streak of his career. He is 10-for-20 in his last five games with three home runs, effectively snapping the slow start that held him back for the first two months of the season.
And with this streak comes a coveted new spot at the top of the lineup, the youngest Oriole to hit leadoff since Manny Machado in 2013. Henderson was slotted there twice last year and a few times in the minors, but this is different. Now, with Cedric Mullins out for at least a month, Henderson has a chance to stick there.
“I just try to get on base in my first at-bat,” he said. “Just going out there and doing my thing.”
To get to this point, though, Henderson needed to exercise a great deal of patience.
Starting a season in the majors for the first time — especially when you’re that young — isn’t an easy task. He got a small sample last year, spending 34 games with the Orioles, but he was already in midseason form at the time. This year, he had to get back into game shape while facing major league pitches.
He ended May with a .201 batting average, well below expectations for the former Baseball America No. 1 prospect. Henderson’s last five games, though, have been more like it.
“It just goes to show that no matter what you are going through you are going to get through it, just keep swinging,” he said. “Just keep trusting the process. It’s hard to do. I’ll be the first one to tell you it’s really hard to do in the moment, but you just have to really trust.”
Henderson and the rest of the offense took full advantage of the Royals’ bullpen game. They had 14 hits, with Ryan O’Hearn registering a four-hit day. Aaron Hicks and Josh Lester each had two knocks.
On the mound, Kyle Gibson allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings.