Earl put out his Pall Mall. Sometimes he can't get Raleighs, because, he says, the company that makes them sticks all its money into coupons and can't get into the vending machines. What are you going to get with all those Raleigh coupons, Earl?
"A brass coffin," he says.
You are really very uncomplicated, aren't you, Earl?
He says a dirty word decorating his "yes."
Earl, you are baseball; for better for worse, for richer for poorer. So there is one thing that just doesn't fit. How is it you don't chew tobacco? You are baseball, Earl. You should chew tobacco. Explain this.
Earl says a dirty word. Then he bares his teeth. Terrific teeth. Almost as handsome as his hair, of which he is especially proud. Earl likes to wear his hat tilted back on his head, showing a full shock of hair. "These ain't mine," Earl says—the teeth, not the hair. "I chewed so much tobacco coming up, it rotted all my real teeth out."
Earl is baseball. Can do it all.
The Weavers live in a modest brick-and-clapboard house in the working-class suburb of Perry Hall. Their house isn't what you'd call pretentious. It is catty-corner to the back of an A & P, which is the gemstone of a small shopping center on old U.S. 1. If there are any truths in life, one would surely be that as long as you live only a parking lot away from U.S. 1, you're not getting carried away with yourself. The Weavers, Earl and Marianna, live there with his vegetable garden, their two small dogs and her daughter from an earlier marriage, Kim, who is 21 and a BaseBelle at Memorial Stadium.
Often, when Earl refers to Marianna, he calls her "the second wife," but that's not as blunt as it sounds. After all, Weaver's forever talking about Ken Singleton, the No. 3 hitter, or Tim Stoddard, the No. 1 reliever. Earl's first marriage was a casualty of baseball, of his never being home during the summers and then starting to manage in the Caribbean winters, too. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, the Caribbean work. He has three grown children from that marriage, and the first wife is remarried.
The second wife is dark-haired, slender, not at all like Earl, who is stubby and cute. Marianna, a secretary in Elmira, N.Y., had been married to a salesman when Earl met her in 1963, shortly after his divorce. He was the manager of the Class A Elmira Pioneers, and they were married the next season, after he led the Pioneers to the Eastern League pennant. Earl wasn't single long between marriages. "You spend all your time alone in a hotel room on the road, and the last thing you want is to come back home to another room alone," he says. "Of course, the worst thing about being on the road is all you want to do when you get home is to stay home, but as soon as you get back, all the wife wants to do is go out, because she's been stuck home all the time you've been stuck on the road."