BALTIMORE (AP/WJZ) — Tragedy on a Caribbean cruise with ties to the Orioles. Earl Weaver suffered an apparent medical emergency and passed away at the age of 82.
Adam May reports.
Earl Weaver was the winningest manager in Orioles history. He led the team to four World Series over 17 seasons–winning in 1970.
Fans loved his fiery passion. He was ejected 91 times–including once in each game of a double header–before retiring in 1986.
Just last summer, Weaver was honored with a bronze statue–called the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles.
“This naturally is a dream come true. My wish is to come back and watch Buck manage playoff games and a World Series,” Weaver said.
Former teammates shared memories of the feisty “Earl of Baltimore” at Saturday’s FanFest.
“You know, we had one of those love-hate relations. But we won a lot of games and he gave me the ball every four days and he trusted me. Was he warm and fuzzy? No. But that was Earl Weaver,” said Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer.
“Once I retired and heard him speak he always acknowledged the players and gave them the credit. But when you played for him, you never got that impression,” said former Orioles outfielder Al Bumbry.
Weaver showed his softer side when he entered the Hall of Fame in 1991.
“I’m proud of the fact I spent my whole career in one city. And for that, I’d like to thank the fans of Baltimore for letting me stay,” he said.
Weaver’s wife was at his side on the ship. She says he collapsed late Friday night and never regained consciousness.
Weaver finished with a 1,480-1,060 record–winning Manager of the Year three times. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
Weaver was a brilliant manager, but he never made it to the majors as a player. He finally quit after spending 13 years as a second baseman in the minor leagues.