It was fifty years ago today- July 11, 1968 the Baltimore Orioles fired their manager Hank Bauer and hired Earl Weaver to replace him. The 37 year old Weaver had been a career minor league player and manager and reached the majors at the start of the 1968 season as the Orioles first base coach. He would go on to manage the Orioles to great success from until he retired the first time in 1982, then he came back and managed the Orioles 1985-86 before retiring for good. He was a rare manager who never was fired.
Under Weaver the Orioles won the 1970 World Series and went to a total of four World Series. His overall record was 1480 wins and 1060 losses. The Earl Of Baltimore’s baseball philosophy would fit in well in today’s game- three run homers, pitching and defense. He was not a big fan of small ball- the hit and run, stolen bases and the sacrifice bunt. Weaver was also the first manager to use computer stats, he believed in using his bench and in platooning in certain cases. He is also remembered as a colorful manager- his arguments with the umpires are legendary. I have been following baseball since 1967 and if I were to name the best manager over that time I would without hesitation say Earl Weaver.
Earl Weaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. He died in 2013 at the age of 82.