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Farewell Ernie Harwell

Posted by Andy on May 4, 2010

Sad news as Ernie Harwell has passed away. I never heard him call a game but as broken up as I have been about the death of Harry Kalas, I can imagine how devastating this news is for Tigers fans. If anybody has any stories or links to share, please post them below.

8 Responses to “Farewell Ernie Harwell”

  1. Tim B Says:

    Since you have never heard him call a game I recommend finding a copy of Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook (4 cd set) and giving it a listen. My second favortie BB announcer of all time behind the great Jack Buck.

  2. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Harwell was in my opinion third on the "favorites" list, behind Waite Hoyt and Dizzy Dean. But he -- and another recently-passed-on announcer, Joe Nuxhall -- still rank among he best, without a doubt; they were all the types of announcers that you would listen to, even if you weren't a fan of their teams.

  3. Spartan Bill Says:

    I lived in Michigan from 1972 to 1985 and of course I was a Tiger fan. I moved to Northern Calif in 1985 and didn't hear his voice for a couple of years, other than an occasional hometown inning on CBS Radio. In 1988, I went to an A’s game and knowing Ernie's custom of passing along greetings to listeners back in Michigan, I wrote my name and a note saying I used to live in Saginaw and Lansing on a card, along with where I used to work so I could give it to him-- or maybe someone could pass it to him. I went up to the press level, and recognized the voice of Paul Carey, the other announcer chatting with another fan and introduced myself and asked if he and Ernie could read my name.

    He smiled and said "why don’t you ask Ernie yourself?" and invited me and my buddy (who was wearing Oakland gear) into the booth and introduced us and chatted with me for ten minutes. Once he got a "30 second warning” he apologized he had to “get to work” and he went right on the air. That night he read my name and some people at my old job back in Lansing later told me they heard it.

    The next season, I had moved from Sacramento to LA and went to a Tigers-Angels game. I went to try to find him, but the press level was laid out differently and I couldn’t get in past the guard. But Ernie saw me getting off the elevator, recognized me, remembered my name and even more remarkably, remembered that I was in Oakland the previous year with a buddy named Monty. he even remembered where I used to work!!!! Even though I wasn’t allowed in the Anaheim booth, he chatted with me in the corridor for 5 minutes or so. This was the most special encounter I ever had with any celebrity.

    He is the reason I became a Tigers fan when I moved to Michigan, and why I dumped the Tigers when Schembechler fired him after 1991, and why I started rooting for the Angels when he did some games for them in 1992.

    One last thought, some of you who are reading this might be wondering why I call him Ernie. I called him Mr. Harwell at one of those meetings to call him Ernie. He wanted everyone to call him Ernie. He will be missed.

  4. bandorega Says:

    Ernie Harwell was as much as part of my childhood growing up in Michigan as my boyhood home. I feel as if I've lost a dear friend, and he will be greatly missed. He was the soundtrack of my youth, and now he's gone, "like the house standing by the road".

  5. Baldmark Says:

    Beautiful blog entry by ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill here.

  6. Andy Says:

    Thanks for these comments, especially the story from Spartan Bill.

  7. JDV Says:

    I grew up an Orioles fan in Toledo, and Harwell (along with Paul Carey) was my link to their games. I listened to WJR and the Tigers every night to hear the scores from around the league, and to 'scout' all the other AL teams. Harwell was no 'homer' either. He was more respectful of opposing teams than anyone I've heard then or since...very classy. Many fond memories of listening to many of those games with both my dad and grandfather, too.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    BTF thread: