The Orioles' all-time manager and coaches - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

The Orioles’ all-time manager and coaches

Earl Weaver
Photo credit: Cliff Welch - Icon Sportswire

This year, we’ve unveiled all-time Oriole teams — pitchers and position players. Earlier this month, we had our all-time underrated team. A few readers suggested we do the same for managers and coaches, so here’s our all-time Orioles list.

Manager: Earl Weaver

This is an obvious choice. Weaver accumulated 1,480 wins, by far the most in team history. Buck Showalter had the second most, 669, not even have half as many.

Weaver won six American League East titles, four pennants, and the 1970 World Series in 17 seasons. What was most impressive is that in his first iteration as manager (1968-1982), his teams never finished fewer than six games over .500, and won more than 90 games 11 times in 14 full seasons.

He didn’t have a team with a record under .500 record until 1986, the season after he returned to managing after 2 ½ years away.

Weaver has been mischaracterized as a manager obsessed with home runs and a ruthless umpire baiter.

In fact, Weaver’s principles were: pitching, home runs, defense and fundamentals.

In 1973 and 1974 when he had a team that didn’t hit many home runs (235), he went against his usual instincts and turned his runners loose and they stole 291 bases, winning the AL East both times.

Honorable mention: Showalter broke a 14-year streak of losing seasons in 2012. Hank Bauer, who preceded Weaver, guided the team to its first  World Series in 1966, and Joe Altobelli, who succeeded him, won the 1983 Word Series.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pitching coach: George Bamberger was the Orioles’ pitching coach from 1968-1977. In 1971, he had four pitchers — Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson — who won 20 games.

Bamberger had 18 20-game winners during his time with the Orioles. He left in 1978 to become manager of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Honorable mention: Ray Miller succeeded Bamberger as pitching coach and, under his direction, Steve Stone won a club record 25 games in 1980. Miller served as pitching coach from 1978-1985, leaving to become manager of the Minnesota Twins.

Miller managed the Orioles in 1998 and 1999 and had two more brief runs as pitching coach, 1997 and 2004-2005.

Harry Brecheen was the team’s first pitching coach in 1954 and served until Bamberger replaced him in 1968.

Third base coach: Cal Ripken Sr. was the Orioles’ third base coach from 1977, when he succeeded Billy Hunter, until 1986, and again from 1989-1992.

Ripken managed the Orioles in 1987 and for the first six games of their 0-21 start in 1988. He became the first manager to have two sons, Cal Jr. and Bill, play for him.

Overall, Ripken was an Orioles coach for 15 seasons. He spent the 1976 season as bullpen coach.

Honorable mention: Billy Hunter had a terrific career as Oriole third base coach from 1964-1977 when he left to manage the Texas Rangers.

Hunter was the third base coach for the first two Orioles world championship teams in 1966 and 1970.

At 91, he’s also one of the few surviving members of the original 1954 Orioles team that moved to Baltimore from St. Louis. After he managed the Rangers, Hunter returned to Baltimore to become the baseball coach and athletic director for Towson University, retiring in 1995.

Bobby Dickerson was third base coach from 2013-2018 and gets high marks for mentoring Manny Machado.

Sam Perlozzo was an Orioles third base and bench coach from 1996-2005 and managed the team for parts of three seasons (2005-2007).

First base coach: Wayne Kirby was the Orioles’ first base coach under Showalter from 2011-2018. Kirby’s gregarious personality and his popular “Cooking with Kirby” videos overshadowed his deep knowledge of outfield play.

Kirby and Adam Jones, who won three straight Gold Gloves from 2012-2014, developed a close relationship. Nick Markakis won a Gold Glove in 2014.

Kirby also tutored Trey Mancini, who hadn’t played the outfield, on the finer points of playing left and right in 2017.

Honorable mention: Jim Frey was Orioles first base coach from 1974-79. Like Bamberger, Miller, Hunter, Ripken and Robinson, Frey became a major league manager after coaching under Weaver. He was a hitting and bullpen coach from 1970-1973.

Frey left the Orioles in 1980 and won the American League pennant with the Kansas City Royals. He died on April 12 at 88.

Bench coach: John Russell. The role of bench coach is a relatively new one and didn’t become standard in baseball until the 1980s.

Russell and Kirby joined the Orioles’ coaching staff in Showalter’s first full season in 2011. Russell started 2011 as the team’s third base coach but early in the season switched roles with Willie Randolph and moved to the bench.

Showalter raved about Russell’s ability as a catching instructor, and he worked well with Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph.

Hitting coach: Terry Crowley spent 16 seasons in two iterations as the team’s hitting coach (1985-1988, 1999-2010). Crowley worked under 11 managers.

Crowley stayed with the organization for several years as a roving minor league hitting instructor and briefly served as the team’s bullpen coach in 2011.

Bullpen coach: Elrod Hendricks holds a club record that probably won’t be broken. Hendricks was the Orioles’ bullpen coach for 28 seasons from 1978-2005.

Hendricks was beloved by fans for his friendliness and accessibility. He died in December 2005.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. jimcarter

    May 19, 2020 at 7:41 am

    I certainly never heard anyone accuse Weaver of being an umpire “baiter”. It’s probably because we, thankfully, didn’t have the Internet and thusly hadn’t been subjected to that word. I believe we chose “antagonist”.

    • willmiranda

      May 19, 2020 at 10:19 am

      I prefer “victim of arbiters’ errors.” Glad to see Elrod on the list. Billy Hunter was in the megatrade
      with the Yankees in an exchange of good fielding shortstops that brought Willy Miranda to the O’s.
      Interestingly, modern metrics has Miranda as the fourth-most similar batter to Hunter, making that
      part of the deal seem fairly even. But I think Miranda did far more for the O’s than Hunter for the Yanks.
      Anecdotally speaking, of course.

  2. NormOs

    May 19, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Agree with all except my pitching coach would be Ray Miller.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 19, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      That and third base coach were my two closest calls, Norm.

  3. ReichStuff

    May 19, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Not quite exactly on topic, Rich, but certainly related to your ‘all-time’ posts. I watched Game 3 of the ’70 World Series from Memorial Stadium on the MLB Network last night (in 4:3 and B&W no less). Among the highlights were Tony Kubek’s interviews of Casey Stengel and Lefty Grove. Dave McNally hit the first Grand Slam by a pitcher in Major League history and pitched a complete game. Earl ‘addressed’ the 2B umpire about a call, and Brooks made one of his ‘Human Vacuum Cleaner’ plays against Johnny Bench. Boog at 1B, Davey Johnson at 2B, Bellanger at SS, Brooks at 3B Buford in LF, Blair in CF and Frank Robinson in LF, with Etchebarron behind the plate. As was NBC’s custom back then, the Reds’ radio announcer did the first half of the game and Chuck Thompson announced the last half. Thompson mentioned George Bamberger as one of the great pitching coaches who transformed a good pitching staff into a great one. A lot of fond memories and great names on that telecast.

    • NormOs

      May 19, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      Back in 1070, I don’t remember the picture quality being so bad. Maybe we had lower expectations. Or maybe we (I) weren’t so judgemental. It was still beautiful to watch Brooks and the guys whether it was 1970 or last night. What a team! Go O’s

      • ReichStuff

        May 20, 2020 at 8:38 am

        I couldn’t tell you…I spent all of 1970 in Vietnam.

  4. Birdman

    May 19, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Rich, all your choices make sense. But I guess I would go with Billy Hunter instead as third base coach, because of the incredible success the Orioles had during his tenure (1964-77) — 13 out of 14 winning seasons, 11 out of 14 seasons 90+ wins, 4 pennants, 2 World Series wins.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 19, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Hunter and Cal Sr. was a very tough choice. Being the father of a legend may have influenced my decision a bit, Birdman.

  5. Camden Bird

    May 19, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I would have given Paul Richards an honorable mention. He didn’t have a winning record, but he was the architect of the Oriole Way, signed many future Oriole stars, and Weaver was a disciple of his. If there was a Mt. Rushmore of non-Oriole players, Weaver, Ripken Sr., and Richards would be 3 of the 4, in my opinion.

    • willmiranda

      May 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks, Cam, for reminding us of Richards. He really transformed the Browns into the Orioles. He brought
      an energy to what had been a pretty staid organization. As GM, he also kept the trade pots bubbling
      and signed lots of young talent. I don’t think people today even think of the St. Louis team’s players
      as belonging to the same organization when considering all-timers.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      I certainly gave Richards consideration for an honorable mention, but I already had three and decided to stop there. He would have been next.

  6. BirdsCaps

    May 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Earl is a shoe in due to the wins, ejections, and personality (also im a proud owner of an ugly orange weaver jersey. hopefully one day I’ll be on Rich’s jersey of the night pics). Also, Elrod was an institution, standing next to the dugout and signing autographs. Most names on this list are way before my time so I don’t have much to say about large swaths of the list. As a younger (mid 20s) fan I would probably put buck as no. 2 on my mgr list since he did so much with what he had and was basically the first oriole manager I saw that didn’t fade into the background while the l’s piled up.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 19, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      Looking forward to the eventual return
      of “Jersey of the Game,” Stephen.

  7. ClayDal

    May 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Elrod Hendricks definitely deserves to be the Bullpen coach for his 28 years. The Orioles have had some interesting individuals manning that position. As noted, Cal Ripken Sr. was bullpen coach from 1976 until mid 1977, when he replaced Billy Hunter at third base. Cal was replaced by Brooks Robinson, who finished out the 1977 season. Elrod was replaced briefly in 2006, by Rick Dempsey, who wasn’t happy about being demoted from first base coach. Didn’t last long as the Orioles fired their first base coach, Dave Cash, and moved Dempsey back to first. In 2007, the Orioles were going to put Rick back in the bullpen until Rick got the MASN job. And in 2013, when Rick Adair left as pitching coach, then bullpen coach Bill Castro moved to pitching coach . Scott McGregor replaced Castro in the bullpen for the rest of the year. So besides Elrod, you have had Cal Sr., Brooks, Rick, and Scotty , all Orioles Hall of Famers, as bullpen coach

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top