Saturday, January 19, 2013

Earl Weaver 1930-2013

Earl Weaver, who managed the Baltimore Orioles to four American League pennants in 17 seasons, and a victory in the World Series in 1970, passed away today while on an Orioles Fantasy cruise in the Caribbean Sea, after collapsing in his room at around 2:00 a.m.  He was 82 years old.

As a manager, Weaver compiled a career winning percentage of .583, one of the highest in major league history.  He was inducted into the baseball Hall Of Fame in 1996 by the Veterans Committee.  Unlike many of his managerial contemporaries, he had never played in the major leagues.  After managing in the Orioles' minor league system, including the Elmira (NY) Pioneers and Rochester (NY) Red Wings, Weaver became the major league team's first base coach at the start of the 1968 season.  He was promoted to manager in July of that year, holding the job through 1982.  After that season, the Orioles retired his number, 4.  He returned to manage them again in 1985 and 1986.  Ironically, the Orioles won the World Series in 1983 during his hiatus.

As a manager, Weaver extensively compiled and used statistics, such as head-to-head batting statistics of his own players against individual opposing pitchers.  He often platooned two players, one batting right-handed and the other batting left-handed, in one position.  Weaver's relations with American League umpires were a story unto itself.  He was ejected from at least 91 games, including twice before the game even started, and three times from both games of a double header.

Read more at ESPN, the Baltimore Sun, the Sporting News, the New York Daily News and USA Today.

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