Former Orioles manager Weaver dies at 82
BALTIMORE — Earl Weaver always was up for an argument, especially with an umpire.
At the slightest provocation, the Earl of Baltimore would spin his hat back, point his finger squarely at an ump’s chest and then fire away. The Hall of Fame manager who never played in the major leagues would even tangle with his own players, if necessary.
All this from a 5-foot-6 pepperpot who hated to be doubted.
Although reviled by some, Weaver was beloved in Baltimore and remained an Oriole to the end.
The notoriously feisty Hall of Fame manager died at age 82 on a Caribbean cruise associated with the Orioles, his marketing agent said Saturday.
“Earl was a black and white manager,” former O’s ace and Hall of Fame member Jim Palmer said Saturday. “He kind of told you what your job description was going to be and kind of basically told you if you wanted to play on the Orioles, this was what you needed to do. And if you couldn’t do it, I’ll get someone else.
“I know that’s kind of tough love, but I don’t think anyone other than Marianna, his wife, would describe Earl as a warm and fuzzy guy.”
Weaver took the Orioles to the World Series four times over 17 seasons but won only one title, defeating the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. His Orioles lost the 1971 and ’79 World Series to the Pirates, both in seven games.
Weaver finished his career with a 1,480-1,060 record. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
Dick Gordon said Weaver’s wife told him that Weaver went back to his cabin after dinner and began choking between 10:30 and 11 on Friday night. Gordon said a cause of death has not been determined.
“It’s a sad day. Earl was a terrific manager,” Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. “The simplicity and clarity of his leadership and his passion for baseball was unmatched.
“He’s a treasure for the Orioles. He leaves a terrific legacy of winning baseball with the Orioles, and we’re so grateful for his contribution. He has a legacy that will live on.”