On Tues. night, May fourth 2010, the voice of the Detroit Tigers, Ernie Harwell was gone. Never to get heard from again.
Being from Detroit and living here all of my fifty 6 years of my life, I thought I’d write my personal tribute and words of honor and respect to this person, Ernie Harwell.
40 2 years of the fifty five that he spent in broadcasting, were with the Detroit Tigers. He was the voice and always will be the voice that everyone recalls. Those saturday afternoons, washing the vehicle or working on some project in the yard. I can remember always having the Tiger game on the radio and listening to Ernie broadcast the game. That distinct voice of his and the incredible detail that he used when doing those games. It was like a production running thru your head. As if you were right there sitting down the 3rd baseline. It was like you were watching that game live, just like the thousands of other fans that were there. Only they had to pay for the tickets. I did not.
Ernie described those games with such detail and precision, that you were right there. He would tell of the direction the wind was blowing and the sun over the infield. I always wondered how he even knew, where a fan was from, when they grabbed a memento baseball that was hit into the stands. He would say, ” a fan from Rochester Michigan got that one”.
Nobody will ever forget his famous… ” he stood there like the house by the side of the road “, call, when a player was just watching the the pitch go by him into the catchers mitt for the 3rd strike. Or his infamous call of a home run…..That one is loooooong goooooone. “
The incredible thing about Ernie is that he was so well liked by everyone. I mean everybody. There’s not one single solitary person, that I know of that has each disfavoured this man or said anything bad about him. He had a gift. He just made you feel so welcome and you were the most significant person on the face of the earth. After being with him, you walked away feeling like you simply met this very critical celebrity, and he took the time to talk to me.
Ernie would never call himself a celeb. He was a very humble man, and really open about his faith in God. He would never force his religion in your face, but he showed what he suspected in the life he lived. Respectful, loving, and giving, were the marks of Ernie Harwell’s life.
Ernie was in repose at Comerica Park, and legions of people from all parts of Michigan went to pay their respects. He did not personally know all these folks. He didn’t personally meet all of these people, but there they were lined up and waiting, for more time than an hour, to pay their last respects. Why? The stories were mostly the same. “I never met him, but I feel a bit like I knew him. ” that’s an extremely rare gift. Ernie had that gift. He touched the hearts of so many folks without ever meeting them or maybe speaking to them.
Farewell Ernie. You are actually a good pal and the best human being that I ever knew.We will all definitely miss you.
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