The participants of Orioles Dream Week were treated to quite a surprise Wednesday morning as Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver walked in to the morning camp meeting.
For many, it was a highlight of the week.
“I used to imitate Earl when I was younger and kick dirt and throw my hat like he did,” said Matt Pasternak of West Hartford, Connecticut. “Having that link back to the teams from those days was great.”
As Weaver hung around to watch some of the Dream Week action, a few campers took the chance to pick Weaver’s brain.
“I sat out an inning and sat with him in our dugout and he analyzed our play,” said Mike Ginsberg of Arlington, Virginia. “His baseball mind is as sharp as ever.”
Kevin Jones of Baltimore asked the former skipper to come out and kick some dirt on an umpire.
After posing for pictures with the umpires, one of them playfully tossed Weaver before he had a chance to follow through on Jones’ request.
“Earl was giving us tips and telling stories while cracking on guys at the same time,” said Todd Donnelly of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
After visiting with all of the participants at a reception on Wednesday night, Weaver signed baseballs and photos for all, providing each with a treasured souvenir.
For Ginsberg, just meeting Weaver was more than enough.
“How many people get to sit in a dugout and talk baseball with Earl Weaver? It was great.”