Earl Weaver’s Love Affair with the Three-Run Homer

As you know, Earl Weaver, perhaps the best manager of the post-expansion era in baseball, passed away at 82 on Saturday.   As described in “Pitching, Defense and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles“, Weaver’s overarching philosophy relied heavily on the long-ball:

Weaver preached his prescription for winning: “pitching and three-run homers.” He explained, “Pitching keeps you in the games. Home runs win the game.” That formula developed with experience; in his first seasons with the Orioles he called for more sacrifice bunts than the average AL manager, but he came to believe that “your most precious possessions on offense are your 27 outs,” and “if you play for one run, that’s all you’ll get.”

The VORG celebrates the life of Earl Weaver by providing a comprehensive breakdown of all the three-run homers hit by the Orioles during his tenure as manager:

Games with at least one such homerun: 259

W-L record in those games: 213-46 (.822)

W-L record in all other games: 1,267-1,014 (.555)

Most consecutive games won in which such a homer was hit: 24 (8/11/71-6/29/73)

Most consecutive games lost in which such a homer was hit: 3 (7/8/77, 7/12/77, 7/26/77)

Total three-run homers: 277

First: 7/23/1968: Boog Powell off of Stan Williams in Baltimore, in the bottom of the 5th with the Orioles trailing the Indians 4-3, scoring Don Buford and Frank Robinson.

Last: 9/9/1986: Floyd Rayford off of Al Nipper in Baltimore, in the bottom of the 2nd with the Orioles trailing the Red Sox 1-0, scoring Mike Young and John Stefero.

Walkoff: 10

Inside-the-park: 1, September 3, 1973 by Paul Blair

Most in one game: 3, April 29, 1970 in an 18-2 win over the White Sox in Chicago, with the homers from Elrod Hendricks, Paul Blair and Boog Powell.

Most consecutive games with at least one such homer: 4, as follows:

4/25/1970 : Paul Blair
4/26/1970: Don Buford
4/28/1970: Boog Powell
4/29/1970: Hendricks, Blair and Powell

Number of different batters: 50

Most frequent batter: Eddie Murray (26), Boog Powell (20), Brooks Robinson (18)

Most frequent runner on base: Murray (38)

Most frequent opponent (team): Red Sox (34)

Most frequent site (other than home): Fenway Park (19)

Number of different pitchers victimized: 197

Pitcher surrendering the most: Jim Colborn (6), 8 tied with 4

Most frequent scores at time of homer: Tied 0-0 (45), ahead 1-0 (32), ahead 5-1 (11) and tied 1-1 (11)

Most frequent half-innings: Bottom 1st (24), Top 1st (23), Top 3rd (21)

Outs: 2 (127), 1 (96), 0 (54)

Homers in extra innings: 7

. . . and for the sake of completeness, here they all are:

 

 

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