“Any difference we ever had was overshadowed by the fact that his teams always won,” Palmer said in 1996. “I enjoyed our relationship even though there was some tension.”
Mr. Weaver stepped down after the 1982 season, then came out of retirement in 1985. He retired for good in 1986, when he had his only losing season.
“Playing baseball is fun,” he told The Post. “If I could play, I’d never retire. But managing is work. It’s constant decisions of whose feelings you want to hurt all the time. ”
He tried broadcasting for a while, then retired to Pembroke Pines, Fla., where he played golf, grew tomatoes and went to dog tracks.
When Mr. Weaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996, he saluted his players, saying, “A manager gets in the Hall of Fame by what his players have done for him.”
Even though umpire Steve Palermo once denounced him as “a pest, an insult to baseball, a clown who goes under the guise of manager,” Mr. Weaver praised the integrity of umpires in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
In later years, Mr. Weaver acknowledged the toll baseball took on his life, including a divorce from his first wife, Jane Johnston, and years spent away from his children. Tense and high-strung, he often unwound with drinks after games and twice was arrested for drunken driving.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Marianna Osgood of Pembroke Pines; three children from his first marriage, Michael Weaver of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Rhonda Harms of Houston and Theresa Leahy of St. Louis; a stepdaughter from his second marriage, Kimberly Ann Benson of Bel Air, Md.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Despite his salty, inventively profane diatribes, Mr. Weaver considered himself a practicing Christian. Nonetheless, Pat Kelly, on Orioles outfielder who later became an evangelist, once asked Mr. Weaver why he didn’t join players at chapel meetings.
“Don’t you want to walk with the Lord?” Kelly reportedly asked.
“I’d rather walk with the bases loaded,” Mr. Weaver replied.
In 1986, while speaking with The Post’s Boswell, Mr. Weaver said there was only one thing to say about him after he was gone.
“On my tombstone, just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived.’ ”