Earl Weaver – An Orioles Legend

June 28, 2012 | Hope Birchfield

In honor of Saturday’s celebration and the unveiling of the Earl Weaver Orioles Legends statue, I wanted to pay tribute and homage to arguably one of the greatest Baltimore coaches in history. Coaches are not made like Earl Weaver anymore. He coached with an invigorated passion that was obvious and apparent in his over 90 ejections, including one during Game 4 of the 1969 World Series. There was another occasion when he was ejected from two games in one day. Fans remember these ejections with a fun hearted nostalgia. Whenever I think about Earl Weaver, his hat is turned backwards and he is yelling obscenities at the umpire while simultaneously kicking dirt onto his shoes. Earl Weaver loved the game of baseball and he liked winning. During his time as manager, the Orioles had five different seasons where they finished with over 100 wins.  He was quoted as saying – “On my tombstone just write, “The sorest loser that ever lived.”

With a 1,480 – 1,060 record, his winning percentage was .583 which is the 6th highest winning percentage in baseball history. Over his 17 year tenure with the Baltimore Orioles, Weaver led the city to four American League pennants and one World Series championship. With few exceptions, the Orioles finished in first or second place in the AL East. Over seventeen years, his only losing season came in 1986. Weaver was the kind of manager that lived and breathed baseball. His philosophy was simple and to the point. He often said that “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.” Generally speaking, his players played according to this to mantra.

What made Earl Weaver so good? Was it his passion? Was it is his desire to win and go to the mattresses for his ball club? Umpires made it known that they did not like facing Weaver and he made it known when he had frustrations. Earl Weaver encompassed all of the aspects of a quality manager. Whether it’s because we lived in a world of where everything needs be more politically correct or whether managerial styles have simply evolved, coaches like Earl Weaver just do not exist anymore. Weaver knew exactly what it took to be a manager of a high-performing ball club and will forever live on as one of the greatest managers in the game. He is what all managers should strive to be. Passionate. Motivating. Fearless.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Ronnie Says:

    I love animated, passionate coaches. When your coach is willing to go to great lengths to defend you, you tend to want to play better for him

  2. TJ Says:

    Great written article with much due respect given to THE greatest coach in Oriole history. Fortunate or not, I have not been on this earth long to have seen Earl Weaver coach. Hope brings great insight to what type of person he was and how he coached. Bottom line is whatever Earl Weaver did IT WORKED!!!…I don’t think we will see a coach like this in the MLB again. To much worry about “tip toeing” or shall we say “walking on eggshells” around players and their emotions anymore. A coach is hired to coach and lead…a player is “hired” to play. They are meant to respect each other but not be each other’s best friend….I miss Earl Weaver!!

  3. NC Orioles Fan Says:

    Yes he certainly is a LEGEND and will never be matched again in Orioles history. Not even Bucky will come close….unless the Orioles win back-to-back division titles and appear in numerous World Series like they did under Weaver.

    However, just gotten back from a Mexico mission trip when the Weaver statute debuted and seen it July 14 when Jim Palmer’s statue debuted, I think Weaver statute stinks.

    Earl was ejected around 98 times during his legend manager career so why could not the statute reflect one of those ejections like turning his cap backwards and getting in-the-face of the umpire or throwing his famous kick dirt-on-home plate temper tantrum?

    To this Orioles fan, the statute says what will Don Stanhouse do next?

    Sad, but the statute does not represent what Weaver stood for or achieved in his nearly 15 years as manager of the Orioles.

    Go Orioles!!!

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