Earl, It’s For You
ESPN reporter and baseball writer, Tim Kurkjian, once wrote about when the Orioles were playing the Tigers in 1986 and Baltimore starter John Habyan had just been brought up from the Minor Leagues, John proceeded to walk the first four Tigers before Earl Weaver pulled him. After the game Kurkjian asked Earl, “So, Habyan was a little off with his control, huh?” Weaver said, “Yeah, I guess home plate at Triple-A is 17 feet wide instead of 17 inches, and the players must all be eight feet tall.”
This next story is a classic. It seems that it was Earl Weaver Day at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, and the Orioles had Earl riding on the back of a convertible waving to the crowd. As the umpires watched, this one umpire leaned over to the others and said, “If there is a God, that little SOB will fall off the back of that convertible and get run over.”
One Sunday a slumping Al Bumbry was heading to chapel when he heard Weaver say, “Al, take your bat.” Another story finds Weaver being ejected by umpire Jim Evans who then pulls out his stopwatch and gives Earl sixty seconds to leave the field before the Orioles would be forced to forfeit the game. Weaver grabs the stopwatch from Evans’ hand and flings it into the dugout as the crowd roars.
Now for my personal favorite; Earl was very sensitive about his height. One late night while in the airport at DFW, Oriole pitcher Jim Palmer wrote down the phone number from a pay phone that was for handicapped people and children to use. He gave the phone number to Tony Muser to place a call. Earl was standing next to the telephone when it began to ring, but he would not answer it. The team was pretending not to watch as Palmer finally got up and answered the phone. He said, “Hello, sure, he’s right here,” and handed the phone to Weaver and said, “It’s for you.” The entire team broke out in laughter including Earl who had a few choice words for Palmer.