NEW: Earl Weaver "a beloved Baltimore legend," Maryland governor says
Weaver amassed a record of 1,480 wins and 1,060 losses over 17 seasons for Orioles
His team won the World Series in 1970
Orioles official calls him "the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization"
Baseball Hall of Fame manager Earl Sidney Weaver, who led the Baltimore Orioles to four pennants and a World Series title with a pugnacity toward umpires, died Saturday of an apparent heart attack at age 82, Major League Baseball said.
Dubbed “the Earl of Baltimore,” Weaver managed the American League team for 17 seasons and amassed a record of 1,480 wins and 1,060 losses, including five 100-win seasons (1969-1971 and 1979-1980). He and the team won the World Series in 1970.
The tenacious Weaver was outspoken with some players as well as umpires. At the same time, he was open to innovation, using computers to analyze opposing pitchers and pioneering the introduction of radar guns to measure fastballs and other pitches.
On the matter of marching out of the dugout to give the umps a piece of his mind, Weaver said: “The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager, because it won’t hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game.”
Team managing partner Peter Angelos described Weaver as standing “alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball.”
“This is a sad day for everyone who knew him and for all Orioles fans. Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field,” Angelos said in a statement.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Weaver was “a beloved Baltimore legend.”
“Many will remember Earl for ushering in a new era of success for the Baltimore Orioles,” O’Malley said. “He led the O’s to four World Series – including the memorable World Championship victory of 1970.”
Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996, Weaver joked in his induction speech about his feuds with star pitcher Jim Palmer – also in the Hall of Fame – by saying he was the player “I had more arguments with than my wife.”
Weaver managed the team from 1968 to 1982 and 1985 to 1986.
He was regarded as among the most ejected managers in baseball – more than 90 times.
He thanked umpires in his induction speech, saying the game can’t be played without them.
“I’m serious when I say their integrity and honesty is, and must be, beyond reproach,” Weaver said. “Now counting balls and strikes and close plays on the bases, they must have made over a million calls while I was managing, and except for those 91 or 92 times I disagreed, they got the other ones right.”