Earl Weaver on growing up

I used to be a huge Orioles fan back in my youth (not sure I could even name a single player now) and I have great affection for the first baseball manager I was actually aware of– the O’s Earl Weaver.  He died yesterday and Tom Boswell writes a great remembrance.  Anyway, I loved this part:

For Weaver, the strain of the game was his certainty that he was often one of the few adults in the room. “You must remember that anyone under 30 — especially a ballplayer — is an adolescent,” he once told me. “I never got close to being an adult until I was 32. Even though I was married and had a son at 20, I was a kid at 32, living at home with my parents. Sure, I was a manager then. That doesn’t mean you’re grown up.

“Until you’re the person that other people fall back on, until you’re the one that’s leaned on, not the person doing the leaning, you’re not an adult. You reach an age when suddenly you realize you have to be that person. Divorce did it to me. It could be elderly parents, children . . . anything. But one day you realize, ‘It’s me. I’ve got to be the rock.’ ”

Just love that definition of what it means to be a grown up.  Not perfect, but very true.  It means, it’s on you.  I think parenthood pretty much did that for me, but having a kid with a rare disease (at the age of 30) definitely cemented that, in my case.  And whatever was left to be done in that regard took place when my mom died of cancer.  Anyway, when you look at it this way, you can really understand how some people really never do grow up.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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