Earl Weaver

Earl Weaver, RIP

Earl WeaverWith the passing of Earl Weaver on Friday, baseball lost one of its most irascible—and best—managers. Not only was he tossed from a record 91 games, but he inspired then-Yankees manager Billy Martin to threaten that “the next time one of our guys is deliberately thrown at, I’m going to deck Earl at home.”

In his memory, I offer two very brief excerpts from The Baseball Codes. The first, from the book, is about the doctoring of baseballs:

Take it from Orioles manager Earl Weaver, who, upon visiting the mound to talk to pitcher Ross Grimsley during a bases-loaded situation, offered a simple suggestion: “If you know how to cheat, this would be a good time to start.”

The second, about retaliation, was cut during the final edit.

Orioles skipper Earl Weaver was once sitting in the dugout when one of his pitchers gave up a home run. As the batter rounded third, he looked toward the Orioles bench, made eye contact with the manager and extended his middle finger. “What the hell was that?” a befuddled Weaver asked Billy Hunter, one of his coaches. Hunter knew exactly what the hell that was. “You didn’t select him for the All-Star Game,” he said.

RIP, Earl.

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4 thoughts on “Earl Weaver, RIP

  1. Oddly enough, I don’t think that Earl Weaver holds the ejection record. Bobby Cox was ejected more than 100 times from games, as was another Oriole great, John McGraw (even if you discount his player ejections, he still bests the Earl of Baltimore with managerial ejections). But, I bet that Earl wins the record for most colorful ejections! Love, Love, Love your blog … and your book … which I refer to time and again!

    1. Bobby has since broken Earl’s mark. I remember being delighted during pregame warmups prior to the 2010 NLDS between San Francisco and Atlanta to see Brooks Conrad sporting a t-shirt with “153 …” (the number of times Cox had been tossed) on the front, and a picture of Cox getting ejected on the back. A bunch of players apparently had them, but I couldn’t find an image online …

    1. The problem with Mr. Musial, as far as my particular purposes here are concerned, is that he was too all-around good — as a human being more even than as a ballplayer — for any interesting back-stories to filter my way as I did research for the book. Musial was virtually without peer, and made so few ripples (on field or off) that it was almost as if he was completely above the unwritten rules. Thus: A giant in the sport will be dearly missed, but nothing in my particular canon applies to appropriately feting him.

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