We’ve seen Jim Palmer become emotional before - for instance, this year during his legends ceremony, when he talked about Mike Flanagan. Today, the Hall of Famer kept it together pretty well when talking about Earl Weaver until very late in an interview with reporters covering FanFest.
“Mike Flanagan came up to me and said, one year after (I) had pitched during a spring training game, Earl called him over said, ‘See that guy out there? Just do what he does and you’ll be fine,’ ” Palmer said, noting that Weaver was pointing to Palmer. “I almost felt like today I wanted to call Flanny to tell him Earl passed away. A couple of years ago at the Hall of Fame, the night before an induction, I talked to Earl about that.
“I told him that story and told him one of the best compliments you ever paid me, well not directly, was what you told Mike Flanagan. He looked at me and he said, ‘I just didn’t tell that to Flanagan, I told that to everybody.’” Palmer said and became emotional in thinking about his former skipper.
“It’s a sad day for anyone involved with the Orioles,” he said. “We were lucky to have him here and we all share the pain of him being gone. Earl was about winning. If he was here today, he’d be telling us the 93 wins we had last year are gone. You could never be complacent with Earl.
“He was really happy (to come back last year for his Legends ceremony). I saw the tears and the emotion. After he retired, we became more like friends, a relationship you couldn’t have when you were playing. Earl didn’t want to be the players’ friend. But he let you know he was loyal to you.”