Happy Birthday to Earl Weaver! He would have been 89 today. The fiery Baltimore Orioles skipper spent 17 seasons managing the Orioles from 1968-1986, earning 4 American League Pennants and 1 World Series ring in 1970 as his Orioles beat the Cincinnati Reds 4 games to 1. The Orioles won more games than any other MLB team from 1968-1986.
Before becoming a legendary baseball manager, Weaver played baseball for 14 seasons. Born in St. Louis, MO on August 14, 1930, Weaver’s father ran a laundry business that cleaned the Cardinals’ uniforms. The young Weaver would frequently be spotted in the Cardinals’ locker room at Sportsman Park. In 1948 at age 17, Earl signed a contract to play for his hometown Cardinals out of high school. Playing second base, Weaver moved through the Cardinals farm system and was assigned to the Winston-Salem Cardinals of the Carolina League in 1950. That season, Earl would hit .276 in 127 games for Winston-Salem as the team finished with a 106-47 record, winning the Carolina League pennant. The Winston-Salem Cardinals would defeat the Burlington Bees 4-1 in the ’51 Carolina League championship game.
Weaver never reached the Majors as a player, compiling 1,320 hits for a .267 career average in the Minor Leagues playing from 1948-1965. In 1956, Earl became a player/manager until retiring from playing in 1965. From 1956-1967, Weaver won 802 games as a Minor League manager. During his 17 years as manager of the MLB Orioles, Weaver won 1,480 games (which ranks 26th all-time in MLB). Earl also managed 4 American League All-Star teams. In 1996, Weaver was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2010, the Orioles celebrated the 1970 World Series Champion Orioles and had a 79-yr old Weaver take the honorary pre-game lineup card to umpire Bob Davidson — who [ceremonially] ejected Weaver right after receiving the card.