SALISBURY, Md - Orioles Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver headlined the Fan Fest festivities today in Salisbury at the South Atlantic League All-Star game and signed autographs for around two hours for a steady stream of fans.
Earl said the fans here kept asking him about returning to manage.
“Since (80-year-old Jack) McKeon went back, if I would,” Weaver said. “There is no way I can go back (with my arthritis). You just saw me hobble in here. I couldn’t get up and down the dugout stairs.”
And while no one is expecting him to manage again, the fans of the Orioles never seem to tire of being around and speaking with the Earl of Baltimore. The love affair continued today here at Perdue Stadium.
“It’s been going on for years and years,” Weaver said. “Seems like everyone in this area should have at least one (autograph from me) anyway. They must have been Orioles’ fans and lived through some good years. But they are all Orioles’ fans and I really appreciate that. I am happy to still be remembered, I can tell you that.
“Most of them were 50 years or older. There were some younger ones, I guess their fathers or grandfathers told them about me.”
Weaver said the Orioles current situation, with so many minor league clubs close to Baltimore, is a real plus for the club and much different than in his day.
“We had teams in Georgia, Appleton, Wisconsin and Aberdeen, South Dakota,” Weaver said. “I think it’s better to have them all close. The farm director and front office can get here without any problem. That’s wonderful.
“Cal has the IronBirds right in Aberdeen. These parks the Orioles have are so wonderful to watch a ballgame in. You are right on top of the field. It’s like being at Wrigley or Fenway. If you are a kid, you can be so close and really fall in love with the game.”
And the fans in Salisbury today proved again that they still love Earl Weaver.
With tonight’s game here coming up at 7:30, here is a link to tonight’s lineups.