Longtime fans of the Baltimore Orioles and Carroll County sports lost some of the significant figures they most enjoyed watching compete over the years in 2013.
Orioles manager Earl Weaver, Carroll County Hall of Famers Earl Hersh and Charles Duppins, and world-renowned strongman Mike Jenkins all died during the calendar year.
Weaver, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, succumbed during an Orioles fan cruise in January. He was 82.
The "Earl of Baltimore" managed the Orioles to 1,480 wins, six division titles, and four appearances in the World Series, including a win over the Cincinnati Reds for the championship in 1970.
The Orioles paid tribute to Weaver during Fanfest in January and before a game April 20 against Los Angeles.
Known nearly as much for his battles with umpires and players like three-time Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer as for his dugout acumen, Weaver was among the first to base managerial decisions on statistical analysis.
Current Orioles manager Buck Showalter made his affection and respect for Weaver well known long before the passing of the fans' beloved No. 4.
"He meant so much to so many people. There's a reason why they called him 'The Earl of Baltimore,'" Showalter said. "There was such a connection with the way he went about his business."
Carroll lost the man who earned the title of "Athlete of the Century" in this county when Hersh died in March at age 80.
A charter member of the Carroll County Hall of Fame, Hersh had a distinguished, multi-sport career at Manchester and Westminster high schools before starring in football at West Chester College, earning Little All-America status and a spot in the Blue-Gray game.
Hersh turned down a chance to play in the NFL, choosing to play professional baseball instead, and eventually earned a call-up to the Milwaukee Braves. Batting cleanup behind Hank Aaron, he doubled in his first major league at-bat.
He made perhaps his biggest contributions once his playing days were over, however, as a football coach at Westminster and then during a 25-year run as the county's director of athletics and physical education.
"He had an impact on a lot of us," said Bruce Cowan, who played football under Hersh at Westminster and succeeded Hersh as county AD.
In 1999, a panel of experts commissioned by the Carroll County Times named Hersh Carroll's Athlete of the Century.
When Hersh was inducted into the Carroll Hall in 1994, the trailblazing Duppins was one of his charter classmates.
When he joined the varsity basketball team at Francis Scott Key in 1960, Duppins was one of four African-Americans to play on the county's first integrated sports team.
In that year, the Eagles made it all the way to the Class B state final before falling to Surrattsville 47-41, and the Eagles reached the state semifinals in 1961.
Duppins, who resided in Gettysburg, Pa., died in April at 70.
Duppins was an inaugural member of the Carroll Hall for his exploits as a high-flying basketball forward and hard-throwing baseball pitcher at FSK.
Former teammate Bob Cairns remembered him fondly.
"He was very quiet, but fun. The good kind of mischievous," Cairns said. "My memory is that Charlie was the first player to dunk a basketball in Carroll County. He was a terrific player ... tremendous athletic ability."
The 6-foot-3-inch Duppins was a dominant rebounder and defender who was an all-county selection. He went on to play with the Harlem Astronauts barnstorming team.
And he played an important role in race relations during that era on that successful, integrated FSK team.
"He opened doors so I was able to do some of the things I was able to do in high school," said his niece, Kim Duppins-Stanton, also a Carroll Hall of Famer.
Jenkins also created quite a legacy, albeit in a tragically short amount of time.
Jenkins, a 2000 South Carroll graduate, was a football all-countian who later played on a Division 1-AA national championship team at James Madison University.
But he gained acclaim as a stronman, winning numerous international competitions, opening his own gym in Hershey, Pa., and training high school athletes as he became a well-known figure. He died unexpectedly in November at 31.
"Mike was one of those gentle giants, was nice to everybody, and gave everybody a chance. He treated everyone with the utmost respect," said Nick Hozik, a football teammate of Jenkins' at South Carroll.
Jenkins turned his hobby of weightlifting into a career, building his body into a muscular 6-foot-6, 400 pounds. His deadlift reached more than 800 pounds, and his squat record approached 900.
He won the Arnold Strongman Classic, named for Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2012 after placing second in 2011, he won the Giants Live event in Australia in 2012 and he placed fifth in the 2012 World's Strongest Man competition in Los Angeles, an annual event traditionally broadcast on national TV.
His wife, Keri, said: "Mike Jenkins will be remembered for his strongest muscle of all - his heart."
Brian Haines and Pat Stoetzer contributed to this story.