Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver, who died in 2013, was one of the nicest guys I ever knew. His public image was that of a tempermental curmudgeon, but he was a softie at heart.
One thing we definitely shared was an optimistic spirit towards life. Earl never gave up, even when his teams seemed to be impossibly behind. He encouraged others to persevere. Weaver was not only a baseball Hall of Famer, but one of life’s hall of famers as well.
The last time I saw Earl was at a 2009 dinner in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, which was held in the gallery. Earl suggested posing in front of the plaque of Larry Doby, another guy with a zest for life. I’m happy that we got the chance.
Baseball was lucky to have a passionate guy like The Earl of Baltimore. We need more of his type of manager around. Thanks Earl.