More on Weaver’s life and legacy

Happy Football Sunday, everyone. Before the games kick off, I wanted to organize all the coverage from yesterday into one blog. There was a lot going on at FanFest and Orioles.com has a wide range of coverage on Earl Weaver’s passing, including reactions around baseball and analysis on his life and legacy.

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The No. 4 banner hung to the right of the main stage at the Baltimore Convention Center, a solemn salute front and center to a man whose passing struck a chord in the heart of the city, the Orioles organization and the collective baseball world.

“I had a No. 4 in the dugout every day,” manager Buck Showalter reflected on Saturday afternoon, just hours after learning of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver’s passing late Friday night of a heart attack. “Before every game, I had a little thing where I would just kind of look at it, sometimes I’d rub it if we needed an extra out or a big hit. He didn’t let us down too much. … I got a four-run [inning] out of it one night.”

Weaver came to Orioles Spring Training last year and spoke with the players and coaches, riding around in a golf cart with Showalter, talking baseball and reminding the O’s skipper of baseball’s simplicity.

“I’ll never forget we went to a drill and he said, ‘Oh, we were doing this 40 years ago. You guys just got more fungos and more coaches, maybe a different machine. But we are all trying to accomplish the same thing,'” Showalter said. “He gave me time, and that’s the most precious thing.

For more on Showalter’s thoughts and reactions from Orioles players on Weaver’s place in the city click here.

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Let’s begin with the day Earl Weaver’s pitching coach, Ray Miller, went to grab a copy of the lineup card. As Miller glanced at the names, Weaver spoke up.

“Benny Ayala,” Weaver said.

Miller looked at the card and checked the lineup Weaver had written down. No Benny Ayala. Had there been a mistake?

“You don’t have him in the lineup, Earl,” Miller said.

Weaver smiled.

“Benny Ayala,” he repeated.

That night, Weaver summoned Ayala from the bench late in the game and watched him hit a game-winning home run. Yes, he called it three hours before the first pitch was thrown. Weaver had played the game in his head, had gone through the potential late-game match-ups and was hoping for one in particular.

When a certain reliever — the one Weaver had been hoping to see — walked to the mound, he had Ayala ready. And that was how one of Weaver’s 1,480 victories came to be.

To read the rest of MLB.com’s columnist Richard Justice’s thoughts on Weaver, click here.

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With the news of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver’s death spreading quickly through the baseball community Saturday morning, people all across the sport shared memories of the legendary skipper and offered their condolences.

Weaver, who spent his entire 17-year managerial career with the Orioles, passed away in the early morning hours Saturday after suffering a heart attack on an Orioles fantasy cruise. He was 82.

“Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball,” Orioles chairman of the board and CEO Peter G. Angelos said in a statement released by the team.

“This is a sad day for everyone who knew him and for all Orioles fans. Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field. On behalf of the Orioles, I extend my condolences to his wife, Marianna, and to his family.”

By Saturday afternoon, a number of current and former Major Leaguers, as well as fellow Hall of Famers, front office personnel and Major League executives had joined Angelos in mourning, through a combination of social media and official statements.

To read the rest of the reaction around baseball on the loss of Weaver click here.

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Earl Weaver, the Orioles’ Hall of Fame manager who died on Saturday, was notorious for his run-ins with umpires.

“He was tough with umpires, but he was a very good manager,” one of his umpire adversaries, Steve Palermo, said. “A little pun intended — you had to give the devil his due. He was a very good manager. But you were always on red alert with him because you never knew what he was going to do next. He was very unconventional.”

Palermo, now a supervisor of Major League umpires, remembered a late-season game between the Orioles and Yankees in a pennant race.

“He was in rare form and we threw him out in about the seventh inning. He threw something out of the dugout, came out and was kicking dirt and he got thrown out,” Palermo recalled.

“He left for an inning and I think the Yankees hit a two-run homer to go ahead in the eighth inning and Weaver comes flying out of the dugout again. And he’s already been thrown out. … I told him to get out of here. And he kicked dirt all the way from third base to second base. And he was standing there on second base.”

To read the rest of MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel’s story, click here.

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With the passing of Earl Weaver on Saturday at age 82, baseball lost another of the greatest managers ever to set foot on the dugout steps, his death following those of Sparky Anderson and Dick Williams in recent years.

Those members of the Hall of Fame left quite a legacy, each in his own way, but there remain many managerial greats among us — a cadre of special former skippers, some actively involved in baseball, others enjoying retirement.

Two of them are in the Hall of Fame as managers, and still others as players. A few are on the cusp of being considered for that highest honor very soon as among those eligible on the 2014 ballot. And that’s just part of the club.

In tribute to Weaver, here are some of the living managerial luminaries among those mourning his passing:

For the rest of this story, click here.

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George Brett, who spent his entire career with the Royals, never got to play for his fellow Hall of Famer, manager Earl Weaver, but he imagined it would’ve been fun and interesting.

“He was the type of guy you wished you would have played for. If he liked you, it was so much fun, but he’d always keep you on your toes,” Brett said. “Just like [Jim] Palmer, supposedly to this day, hates him but loves him. That love-hate relationship you have with your managers. But he got the most out of his players, I’ll tell you that.”

News of Weaver’s death came as the Royals FanFest was getting underway Saturday, and naturally stories were told that reflected on the Orioles manager’s colorful career. His outbursts punctuated with salty language were legendary.

To read the rest of the Royals reactions click here.

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The colorful and occasionally outrageous man who believed three-run home runs, reliable up-the-middle defense and effective starting pitching were the essential ingredients of successful baseball has died. Earl Weaver, the Earl of Baltimore, passed away early Saturday morning while on an Orioles fantasy cruise in the Caribbean. Death, apparently caused by a heart attack, came at age 82 for the most successful manager in the history of the Orioles, a man who never played in the big leagues but directed several of the elite teams of the past 45 years.

Weaver was a little man — 5-foot-7 in spikes — with a big big league resum√© that earned him a place in the Hall of Fame in 1996. His Orioles teams — he managed for no other club — produced a .583 winning percentage and 1,480 victories, the 22nd highest total in history, in 17 seasons. They won four American League pennants and the 1970 World Series in a sequence of 11 seasons that began in 1969. His teams won six AL East championships, 219 games from 1969-70 and at least 100 games five times.

“Earl Weaver was a brilliant baseball man, a true tactician in the dugout and one of the key figures in the rich history of the Baltimore Orioles, the club he led to four American League pennants and the 1970 World Series championship,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement released by MLB. “Having known Earl throughout my entire career in the game, I have many fond memories of the Orioles and the Brewers squaring off as American League East rivals. Earl’s managerial style proved visionary, as many people in the game adopted his strategy and techniques years later.

“Earl was well known for being one of the game’s most colorful characters with a memorable wit, but he was also amongst its most loyal. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Marianna, their family and all Orioles fans.”

To read the rest of MLB.com Marty Noble’s story on Weaver, click here.

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You can also click here to go to the Orioles video homepage for more reactions from around baseball on Weaver.

 

2 Comments

Enjoyed watching Earl manage the O’s when I was a kid and always respected the way they played the game fundemendally sound. Loved #4 and will miss him. Glad I was at his legends day!!

I donít even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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