Earl Weaver has two stints as manager of the Orioles, totaling 17 seasons. The club won the 1970 World Series title.
(Photo: John Kuntz, AP)
The lasting visions of Earl Weaver always will include an irate man with hat askew, kicking dirt and screaming at an umpire. But the Hall of Fame manager was more innovator than instigator.
Weaver, who won four American League pennants and a World Series during his 17 seasons as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, died early today after collapsing during a cruise. He was 82.
It was Weaver who pioneered use of radar guns to measure pitchers' velocity. It was Weaver who kept a stack of index cards to keep track of pitcher-vs.-batter matchups, long before the computerization of the game's statistics.
And, of course, it was Weaver whose 94 ejections - often flamboyant and even once before a game even started - that made him most memorable. That total still is an American League record, topped in the majors only be the recently retired Bobby Cox and Hall of Famer John McGraw.
"The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager," Weaver once said. "It won't hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game."
Weaver, who never played in the majors, became Baltimore manager midway through the 1968 season. His 48-34 record the rest of that season wasn't enough to catch the Detroit Tigers in the AL race, but the Orioles' second-place finish was a message to the rest of the league. Weaver's teams would win the next three pennants and the 1970 World Series.
"Bad ballplayers make good managers," Weaver said. "Not the other way around. ... A manager's job is simple. For 162 games, you try not to screw up all the smart stuff your organization did last December."
Weaver's organization, the one he joined in 1957 at manager of a minor league team in Fitzgerald, Ga.
Paul White, USA TODAY Sports