It is a sad day for all of baseball, as former Baltimore Orioles manager, Earl Weaver, has died. He was 82 years old.
Weaver spent 17 years as the manager of the O’s, serving from 1968 to 1982, and then returning to manage from 1985 to 1986. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. Earl Weaver and the Orioles won a World Series title in 1970, behind solid efforts from the likes of Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Jim Palmer.
Mostly though, Earl Weaver is remembered for his fiery attitude – never shying away from arguing about calls that he felt were wrong. In fact, Weaver’s actions were so bad sometimes, they warranted suspension. One of Weaver’s more infamous tirades came in 1980 in a game against the Detroit Tigers. After an umpire called a balk on Mike Flanagan, Weaver rushed out of the dugout and began to argue. Prior to this, Weaver had already publicly questioned an umpire’s rulings – thus making him even more hated among officials. Weaver ended up being ejected from that game, and went on a profanity-laden rant. The reason this particular situation is more well known is because the whole confrontation was recorded by the umpire in question, who was wearing a microphone.
Weaver’s managerial style was to have his hitters be extremely patient. He wanted hitters to get hits and draw walks. He felt that if a home run came along somewhere down the road – so be it. Weaver was also a fan of platooning players regularly, something that is seen very often in today’s game.
In 1982, the Orioles retired Weaver’s number four. Eventually, a statue was erected outside of Camden Yards in honor of Weaver.
Weaver finished his managerial career having managed in 2540 games, compiling a record of 1480-1060 – good for a .583.
Simply put, Weaver is considered to be one of the best managers in the history of baseball.
Anybody who is a fan of the game of baseball must recognize Weaver’s achievements. I’m sure I am not alone in sending my condolences out to Weaver’s family, friends, and the Baltimore Orioles organization.