The first passing was that of longtime Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver, whose fiery personality was in direct contrast to his diminutive five-foot-six height. Never one to back down from an argument with an umpire, "The Earl of Baltimore" was sent early to the showers 91 times in his career.
Weaver's heyday with the Orioles was before my time, so most of what I remember was his final two seasons at the O's helm.
You hear a lot today of how today's skippers are a "player's manager," but Weaver managed long before those days. I don't think any Orioles were buddy-buddy with Weaver, but I don't doubt for one second that they'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit for him.
I am glad that Weaver was able to be inducted into the Hall of Fame while he was alive, and able to enjoy the honor.
Here is a picture of Weaver's Topps sunset issue, from the 1987 set.
The other Hall of Famer who passed away today, was the greatest Cardinal ever, Stan "The Man" Musial.
Musial began his minor-league career as a pitcher, but unfortunately his pitching dreams were dashed due to an arm injury. Luckily for him, Musial switched positions, and the rest, as they say, is history.
While Joe D and Teddy Ballgame dominated the American League headlines, Musial made quite a name for himself in the National League. He played in 24 All-Star games in his 22 seasons, led the NL in every hitting category once (except home runs), and of his 3,630 career hits, exactly half of them came at home, while the other half came on the road.
Pictured here is Musial's 1963 Topps sunset issue:
Until next time,