Earl Weaver, Dead at 82, R.I.P.

Earl Weaver, full throttle

Earl Weaver, full throttle

Though a great strategist in and of what today is called small ball, his favorite play bluntly remained “the three-run home run.” His all-time winning percentage is .583. He led the Baltimore Orioles to three American League championships in his first three seasons at the helm. He feuded with his greatest pitcher, Jim Palmer. Earl Weaver…What more could anyone say? He is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and there is one more notable detail about him: Weaver was given the heave-ho by umpires on 94 occasions, behind Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa in this redoubtable category. Weaver drove from colorful to controversial, lovable to hateful, genius to clownish. I (Evander) appreciated his antics, particularly on display during the 1979 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates: the Raleighs in the dugout, the sheer emotionalism. Earl Weaver was a throwback to the days of John McGraw, to whom he was compared. In our times of decision-making by loose-leaf binders and printouts and Sabermetrics, it is refreshing to look back on the managerial style of a cowboy like Earl Weaver, though he was a predecessor of and influence on ur-numbers crunchers like Davey Johnson. To the Earl of Weaver: In the words of “Ahnuld” Schwarzenegger, Vudduh guy.


About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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