Orioles officials announced that Mr. Weaver died Friday while on a team-sponsored Caribbean cruise with many of his former players. He was 82. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
Known as the “little genius,” Mr. Weaver had an inventive baseball mind and used every imprecation in his colorful vocabulary to inspire his players. Once, when one of his pitchers was struggling on the mound, an exasperated Mr. Weaver implored, “If you know how to cheat, start now.”
He was a crafty strategist who preached a simple formula for baseball success — good pitching, solid defense and three-run homers.
The Orioles had several Hall of Fame players in their lineup, but Mr. Weaver was in many ways the team’s brightest star from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. He seemed to embody the spirit of working-class Baltimore, from his pugnacious manner to his smoke-cured voice to the homespun way in which he grew tomatoes in the team’s bullpen.
Fans flocked to Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium, as the high-flying Birds lured a generation of new fans from Washington after the Senators deserted the capital in 1971. For more than a decade, Mr. Weaver was the face of baseball in the Mid-Atlantic.
From one game to the next, no one knew what to expect from the fiery 5-foot-7 field general, who was twice ejected from games before the first pitch was thrown. His prolonged tirades against umpires have become YouTube sensations, remarkable for their creative and comic use of profanity.
He kicked dirt on umpires’ feet, turned his cap backward on his head and pulled bases from the ground. Once, to dramatize his disdain for an umpire’s knowledge of the rules, Mr. Weaver tore up a rule book on the field.
As a manager, he was primarily a motivator and strategist who left the finer points of hitting, fielding and pitching to his coaches. He kept a distance from his players and had a difficult relationship with his pitching ace, Jim Palmer, who once said, “The only thing Weaver knows about a curveball is that he couldn’t hit one.”
Mr. Weaver nicknamed Don Stanhouse, a late-1970s relief pitcher who often teetered on the edge of disaster, “Full Pack” because Mr. Weaver burned through one cigarette after another while Stanhouse was on the mound.
After onetime pitching star Mike Cuellar lost his stuff in 1976, Mr. Weaver took him out of the starting rotation, saying, “I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than my first wife.”
During Mr. Weaver’s 17 years as manager, his teams finished first or second 13 times. He had 1,480 wins against 1,060 losses, and his career winning percentage of .583 is the fifth highest for a major league manager since 1900. He was named manager of the year three times.