Friday, August 15, 2014
Vintage Fridays: Earl Weaver, 1974 Topps #306
It was a Friday twinbill at Memorial Stadium. Things didn't go well for the Birds in the opener, as Mike Torrez was chased in the third inning. Wayne Garland allowed a few inherited runners to score, putting the home team in a 5-0 hole. The visiting Rangers scored a sixth run in the fourth inning on an odd play. First base umpire Ron Luciano, a longtime Weaver nemesis, initially called Jim Spencer out at first to complete a would-be double play. Then Luciano quickly reversed himself, ruling that first baseman Tony Muser failed to touch the bag. Cesar Tovar scored from third base, and Earl had a conniption and earned an early shower. The O's rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, but it was all for naught. Garland and Dyar Miller combined to allow four runs in the very next inning, giving Texas a 10-6 lead. That would be the final score.
Baltimore's skipper was still fuming when he brought out the lineup card before the second game, and he let Luciano know about it. Weaver insisted that the ump, who ejected him from a total of four minor league games and eight more in the majors, had a vendetta against him. Ron gave Earl more fuel for his fire, as he delivered a second heave-ho before the first pitch could be thrown in the nightcap! Fortunately, the Orioles salvaged a split by battering Texas 13-1. They pounded 18 hits off of Clyde Wright and Tommy Moore. Doug DeCinces homered, tripled, and drove in five runs. Lee May and Tommy Davis had three hits each. Mike Cuellar was the beneficiary, cruising to a complete-game, five-hit victory. It's a shame the manager wasn't around to see it.