BALTIMORE — Joe Altobelli, the manager who led the Baltimore Orioles to their most recent World Series title in 1983, has died at the age of 88.
The Orioles confirmed Altobelli’s death on Wednesday and in a statement said that the manager was a “tremendous leader.”
Altobelli was hired by the Orioles before the 1983 season — replacing future Hall of Famer Earl Weaver — and immediately found success. The team’s roster included future Hall of Famers like first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and pitcher Jim Palmer.
The balanced club won the AL East by six games over the Detroit Tigers and then dominated in the playoffs, beating the White Sox 3 games to 1 before rolling to the World Series title over the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.
“A tremendous leader, Altobelli’s compassion, skill and baseball expertise contributed to the Hall of Fame careers of Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken, Jr,” the Orioles said in a statement. “We send our sympathies to Altobelli’s family and many friends throughout the game.”
Altobelli managed the Orioles three seasons, then was fired after a 29-26 start in 1985. He also managed the San Francisco Giants from 1977-79. He led the Cubs for one game as the interim manager in 1991.
He had a career record of 437-407. Altobelli also had a successful stretch as the Orioles’ Triple-A manager from 1971-76, when the Rochester Red Wings won two International League championships.
Altobelli played in three big-league seasons during a span from 1955-61. He spent two of those years with Cleveland and one with Minnesota.