Earl Weaver, the fiery manager who led the Baltimore Orioles to four World Series appearances, has died at the age of 82.
Weaver suffered an apparent heart attack Saturday morning while traveling on an Orioles fantasy cruise, according to the Major League Baseball team’s website.
“Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos said in a statement. “Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field.”
|Earl Weaver during the 1979 World Series (AP Photo)
With a philosophy built on pitching, defense and the three- run home run, Weaver had a 1,408-1,060 record over 17 seasons in two stints as Orioles manager.
He won 100 or more games five times, captured six American League Eastern Division titles and guided Baltimore to four World Series appearances, winning his only title in 1970. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Weaver’s feisty demeanor led to many confrontations with umpires. He’d often turn his hat backward and yell right into the umpires face as he argued calls and would sometimes kick dirt on the umpire’s shoes or home plate after being ejected.
Weaver replaced Hank Bauer as manager during the 1968 season and led the Orioles to a second-place finish in the American League. Baltimore won the AL pennant the next three seasons, beating Cincinnati in the 1970 World Series.
The Orioles again won the AL Eastern Division in 1973, 1974 and 1979, when they were beaten by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Weaver retired after the 1982 season, but returned to the dugout three years later.
Baltimore went 53-52 after he took over in 1985 and finished last in the AL East in 1986 with a 73-89 mark. It was the only losing season of Weaver’s career and he retired again after that.
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