Sunday, January 20, 2013

The One Constant



Stan Musial and Earl Weaver died this weekend.

UPDATE: Ron Fraser, "the Wizard of College baseball," also passed. He made Hurricanes Baseball a powerhouse and it has remained so. He delivered two national championships and amassed a 1,271-438-9 in 29 seasons as coach. He was a class act.

Stan the Man was selected to the All Star Team 24 times, tied only with Willie Mays. He had 3,630 hits. In Major League Baseball. It still sends chills up my spine, but he had exactly the same number of hits on the road as he did at home. 1815. That's the mathematical equivalent of winning the lottery in every state. In your twenties. Twice.

Earl Weaver never made it to the Bigs as a player, but was one of the most successful managers of the modern era. He had passion, purpose and was a showman. I recall watching baseball with my Dad when I was 8, 9 and 10 and Earl would get kicked out often for arguing. 91 times, although some say it was 98. Either way, its a record that will stand forever. My Dad loved Earl. Me too.





18 comments:

Rumpole said...

Perhaps my all time favourite movie speech.

If Musial played in NY, there would be monuments to him throughout the city. Look at his stats- amazing, approaching unsurpassable.

Rumpole said...

As to the speech I was referring to James Earl Jones, of course, but Earl Weaver wasn't bad either.

Anonymous said...

I feel like giving the Weaver speech regarding "I know why you're here!" every time I try a case before a certain federal judge who is fond of sharing her religiosity...

Shoot The Lawyers said...

As Weaver is being praised, I offer a dissent. He was a very good manager. Not a great one. Yes, there were the many 90+ win seasons, divisional titles and pennants. And yes, he was a smart tactician with his lineup, putting on index cards and memorizing information that is now stored on TB hard drives. But let us not forget that he was 1-3 in the WS. He took the '69 O's, probably the greatest team never to win it all, to the top only to see them get thrashed by the Mets (who were much better than given credit for). But that is not the worst of it. In '71, his team was by far superior to the Pirates. They took a 2-0 lead and blew it by losing game 7 at home. Not good. In '79, the O's had a 3-1 lead and lost the final two games at home. Embarrassing. He probably belongs in the HOF but he is not up there with the great ones. I always thought of him in the same vein as Billy Martin but Martin won with much less talent with many different teams. What made Weaver memorable were his on the field flameouts that, to younger fans of the era, were romantic in hindsight and overshadowed some of his shortcomings. But give the man his due. In an era when most managers know more about calculus than they do about fundamentals, Weaver was to baseball what a shot and a beer are to drinking. RIP Earl.

GB said...

STL - I think his stats and accomplishments are more compelling than you characterize. His teams won 100 or more games (not 90) five (5) times. He had only one losing season in 17 campaigns. I get the 1-3 World Series record and to many, winning the World Series is the only barometer. But he led his teams to the Series 3 years in a row, and a 4th time after that. The '69Amazing Mets were just that. They had incredible talent, won 100 games themselves, peaked at the right time and had amazing pitching. The 71 and 79 Pirates both won with outrageous pitching, and there is not much anyone can do when the pitching is lights out.

I love baseball. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Rumpole said...

The Pirates had some pretty good hitting as well. In 71 they had the great one- Clemente (who by the way got a hit in all 14 world series games he played in 1960 and 1971) and they had Bob Robertson who hit a surprise 3 run homer when he missed a bunt sign and they had Willie Stargell and I think Al Oliver and Richie Hebner. In 1979 they had Stargel again as well as Dave Parker and Bill Madlock who was a great hitter. Of course in 79 they had Kent Tekulve coming out of the bull pen and he was lights out as well as one of the weirdest looking players ever. Two great teams with a lot of character. Still hard to believe that the 71 team beat they O's with the pitching they had, which may have been the best rotation ever.

Shoot The Lawyers said...

I never said his 90+ win seasons did not include five 100+ win seasons. The fact is that he consistently won 90+. True, the Pirates of 71 and 79 had some great players. My point is that the O's were up 2-0 and 3-1 in each with home field advantage and lost both. A lot of that has to fall on the manager. I don't dispute his HOF credentials. But let's face it, winning it all is what defines a coach/manager.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Happy MLK Day!

Godwhacker said...

GB, maximum width for YouTube videos is 480 px. Lawyers!

Rumpole said...

Oh I don't think there's any question Earl is a HOF manager. Not even a close call.

Under your analysis you would call Marv Levy a bad coach for getting the Bills to four straight super bowls but losing them all. And also lets not forget Dan Marino who retired with a very undistinguished 0-1 in super bowls.

Shoot The Lawyers said...

Last time. Because this is a discussion best reserved for 2 am after one too many scotches. Weaver deserves to be in the HOF but let's put the hagiography in perspective. He won one WS and blew two others. That gets him a notch right below the greatest ones. The analogies are inapposite. Both Marv Levy and Bud Grant were very good coaches. But they are not on the same level with Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh. No one is suggesting that Levy was a "bad" coach or that Weaver was a "bad" manager. I just think the praise for Weaver is a little unbalanced.

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