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.