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Baseball reflects on HOF pair Weaver, Musial
One was born in St. Louis, the other became a star there.
Weaver was a 5-foot-6 rabble rouser whose penchant for quarreling with umpires belied a cerebral approach to managing that has stood the test of time. Musial was a humble slugger with a funky batting stance who was beloved by Cardinals fans and respected by pretty much everyone else.
A three-time MVP and seven-time National League batting champion, Musial helped the Cardinals win three World Series championships in the 1940s. His popularity in St. Louis can be measured by the not one, but two statues that stand in his honor outside Busch Stadium. After his death Saturday, Cardinals of more recent vintage began offering condolences almost immediately.
Weaver was born in St. Louis, but his greatest success came as a manager in Baltimore. He took the Orioles to the World Series four times over 17 seasons, winning one title in 1970.
Never a fan of smallball strategies like bunting and stealing bases, Weaver preferred to wait for a three-run homer, always hoping for a big inning that could break the game open.
Johnson now manages the Washington Nationals and ran the Orioles from 1996-97.
While Musial could let his bat do the talking, Weaver was more than willing to shout to be heard. His salty-tongued arguing with umpires will live on through YouTube, and Orioles programs sold at the old Memorial Stadium frequently featured photos of Weaver squabbling.
Former umpire Don Denkinger remembered a game in which the manager disputed a call with Larry McCoy at the plate.
“Earl tells us, `Now I’m gonna show you how stupid you all are.’ Earl goes down to first base and ejects the first base umpire. Then he goes to second base and ejects the second base umpire. I’m working third base and now he comes down and ejects me,” Denkinger said.
Musial was a quieter type whose hitting exploits were on par with contemporaries Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio _ but without the bright lights of the big city.
“I knew Stan very well. He used to take care of me at All-Star games, 24 of them,” Hall of Famer Willie Mays said. “He was a true gentleman who understood the race thing and did all he could. Again, a true gentleman on and off the field _ I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever.”
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
White House pets gone wild!