Baseball Hall of Famers Musial, Weaver pass away
FILE - In this Saturday, June 26, 2010 file photo, former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver (4) waves to the crowd after taking the lineup card out before the start of a baseball game between the Orioles and Washington Nationals, in Baltimore, as members of the Orioles' 1970 team were honored before the start of the game. At right is interim manager Juan Samuel (11). Weaver, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who won 1,480 games with the Baltimore Orioles, has died, the team announced Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. He was 82. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
FILE - In this Friday, June 13, 2008 file photo, former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver waves to the crowd during a celebration in honor of the 1979 Orioles American League pennant winners before the baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore. Weaver, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who won 1,480 games with the Baltimore Orioles, has died, the team announced Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. He was 82. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2006, file photo, Hall of Famer Stan Musial gets ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers in St. Louis. Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday, Jan 19, 2012, the team announced. He was 92.(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2006, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals great Stan "The Man" Musial strikes his signature pose after unveiling his statue at the re-dedication ceremony for the statues, at the new Busch Stadium, of Cardinals Hall-of- Famers and notables before a baseball game against the Milwaulkee Brewers in St. Louis. Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday, Jan 19, 2012, the Cardinals announced. He was 92. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam, File)
Baseball lost two of its legends with the passing of Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Earl Weaver.
Musial, one of baseball’s greatest hitters with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, was 92. Weaver, the fiery manager who won 1,480 games with the Baltimore Orioles, was 82.
Musial won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
The Cardinals announced Musial’s death in a news release. They said he died last evening at his home in Ladue surrounded by family. The team said Musial’s son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of Musial’s death.
Musial was so revered in St. Louis, two statues of him stand outside Busch Stadium. He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times – baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons.
A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.
Humble, scandal-free, and eager to play every day, Musial struck a chord with fans throughout the Midwest and beyond. For much of his career, St. Louis was the most western outpost in the majors, and the Cardinals’ vast radio network spread word about him in all directions.
Musial never struck out 50 times in a season. He led the NL in most every hitting category for at least one year, except homers. He hit a career-high 39 home runs in 1948, falling one short of winning the Triple Crown.
Weaver, who was affectionately known as The Duke of Earl in Baltimore, took the Orioles into the World Series four times over 17 seasons but won only one title, in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
Dick Gordon, Weaver’s marketing agent, said yesterday that Weaver died while on a Caribbean cruise sponsored by the Orioles. Gordon said Weaver’s wife told him that Weaver went back to his cabin after dinner and began choking between 10:30 and 11 Friday night. Gordon said a cause of death has not been determined.
Weaver was a salty-tongued manager who preferred to wait for a three-run homer rather than manufacture a run with a stolen base or a bunt. While some baseball purists argued that strategy, no one could dispute the results.
Weaver had a reputation as a winner, but umpires knew him as a hothead. Weaver would often turn his hat backward and yell directly into an umpire’s face to argue a call or a rule, and after the inevitable ejection he would more often than not kick dirt on home plate or on the umpire’s shoes.
He was ejected 91 times, including once in both games of a doubleheader.
Those 91 ejections were overshadowed by his five 100-win seasons, six AL East titles and four pennants. Weaver was inducted into the Hall in 1996. He finished with a 1,480-1,060 record.