BALTIMORE – It’s been three months since Earl Weaver died. On Saturday night before the second game of the Orioles doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers, some of his former players were on hand to pay tribute to him.
“A celebration of Earl, beautiful words,” Brooks Robinson said.
Robinson spoke about the fun he had playing for Weaver, who managed the team from 1969-82, and then again in 1985 and 1986. He watched Weaver argue with umpires countless times.
“I can remember many times just putting my glove over my face and just laughing,” Robinson said.
“He loved us He probably loved us a little more when we won.”
Robinson’s teammates Jim Palmer and Frank Robinson were scheduled to speak, but were unable to attend.
Cal Ripken was there, and he remembered looking at the lineup card one day and seeing a “6” next to it instead of a “5.” He thought it was a mistake, but Weaver patiently and simplistically explained that he was moving him from third base to shortstop. Ripken saluted Weaver for sticking with him in the early difficult weeks of his career.
“I wished I could have played for him forever,” Ripken said.
Rick Dempsey was added to the program because Palmer and Frank Robinson weren’t available, and he talked about Weaver’s personality.
“When he put the uniform on he was one of the toughest and most miserable human beings you’d ever want to be around,” Dempsey said.
A video tribute including some of his noted and often played arguments with umpires and part of his Hall of Fame induction speech was presented, and Orioles broadcaster Fred Manfra, who was on the cruise that Weaver died on, hosted.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who became close to Weaver, remembered him warmly.
“It’s an honor to be the manager of the Baltimore Orioles because of Earl Weaver,” Showalter said.
“Quite frankly the Oriole Way was the Weaver Way.”
Weaver’s son Michael, who also spoke, threw out the first pitch to Dempsey.