March 3 (UPI) -- Former Baltimore Orioles manager Joe Altobelli, who guided the club to a World Series championship in 1983, died Wednesday of natural causes. He was 88.
"The Orioles are saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Joe Altobelli, who led Baltimore to a world championship in 1983, his first season at the helm," the team said in a statement. "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.
"We send our sympathies to Altobelli's family and many friends throughout the game."
The Orioles hired Altobelli to replace future Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver before the 1983 season. The Orioles' roster included Hall of Famers such as first baseman Eddie Murray, pitcher Jim Palmer and infielder Cal Ripken Jr.
The team won the American League East by six games that year and then dominated in the postseason. The Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox in the AL Championship Series before defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series in five games.
Altobelli managed the Orioles for three seasons. He was fired after a 29-26 start in the 1985 season. He also managed the San Francisco Giants from 1977-79 and served as the Chicago Cubs' interim manager for one game in 1991.
Altobelli, a former infielder and outfielder who played in three Major League seasons during a span from 1955-61, finished with a 437-407 career record as a MLB manager.