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The Great One Goes To The Great Tiger Stadium In The Sky

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Ernie Harwell, R.I.P.

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  • Dave Brockington

    Damn.

  • Crash Chloride

    Ernie was a class act all the way.

  • The longish time Red Sox radio guy Joe Castiglione (and his former booth partner as well) have always been huge Harwell fans- very reverent. They played some Harwell clips during the Angels-Sox game tonight and they closed it out with an extended eulogy, including his speech from his Hall of Fame induction. It was incredibly moving. He was a wonderful guy and a phenomenal announcer.

  • Dave Brockington

    This reminds me of when Red Barber passed in 1992. I was a first year grad student at the U of Oregon (my first and only year there for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with anything institutionally specific) having gone through all of college listening to Barber on Morning Edition with Bob Edwards every Friday lamenting that I never heard Barber call a game. Harwell was of that generation. There’s damn near none of them left now, outside of Vin Scully, whom Barber himself brought into the game.

    I have a copy of “Fridays with Red” that Edwards signed for me at a book signing. That book never leaves the library. That, and I’m damn glad I caught a game at Tiger in late September of 1999.

  • witless chum

    It’s still weird to hear anyone else do a Tigers game on the radio. He was a Michigan landmark and, by all reports, a class act.

    RIP.

  • McKingford

    My first conscious memories of baseball, having grown up across the river from Detroit in Windsor, are of Ernie Harwell calling games on the radio. A few things come to mind.

    Radio was a much more important venue for baseball back then – what with only a couple games a week of baseball of *any* team being broadcast (and with ABC’s Game of the Week) on tv (until the playoffs, at least). So I spent a heckuva lot of time listening to the radio in the house when I should have been outside playing.

    I remember ducking out to my dad’s car to listen to Tiger games those summer weeks we were away at the cottage…until one time I wore the battery down and the car needed a jump, and that was the end of that.

    And one of Ernie’s trademarks was announcing “a young man from Kalamazoo snagged that one” when a foul ball went into the stands. I was always in awe of how Ernie just *knew* where all these people were from. I was probably well into my teens before I realized he was just making it up.

    Although it has been a long time since I was a child, I truly feel like a part of my childhood has only now passed, with Ernie finally gone.

  • rea

    There’s damn near none of them left now, outside of Vin Scully, whom Barber himself brought into the game.

    Barber had previously recruited Harwell as well. After the 1949 season, Harwell left his job as a Dodgers broadcaster to take a better-paying position with the Giants. To replace him, the Dodgers hired a guy right out of college–Scully

  • Juskimo

    Thanks for the tribute.

    Go in peace Ernie.

  • Greg

    It should be mentioned that the man to Ernie’s left is a Hall of Famer in his own right, George Kell, now playing 3rd in the Field of Dreams–and the voice of the Tigers on television when I was growing up in Flint. Damn, I’m getting old.

  • JB2

    During the summer of 1990, I was working in Detroit and living in Ann Arbor. Randy Johnson threw a no-hitter against the Tygs on the night of June 2.

    The Unit (who was still ten years away from being the Unit) was still very much a work in progress, although he did make his first AS appearance a month later.

    What I remember most about the game was the total absence of hype and overkill by Ernie and his partner, Paul Carey (an equally skilled, although less charismatic broadcaster.) For example, they mentioned the possibility of a no-hitter several times during the last few innings.

    And, after the game was over, during their brief closing comments (the only time Ernie or Paul ever editorialized), they agreed that Johnson, though impressive, wasn’t quite as sharp as Jack Morris had been when he had no-hit the White Sox in ’84; or quite as impressive as Nolan Ryan had been when he no-hit the TIgers in ’73. These were the other two no-hitters that the two of them had witnessed together.

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