I’ve no idea how much national play this story is getting (surely there must be some), but if you have a Tiger fan friend on Facebook or on Twitter you know that Ernie Harwell (92), the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers for the better part of 40 years, passed away yesterday from bile duct cancer. It’s amazing how much the man meant to the countless numbers of us that grew up with him. I’m not going to write much about it, rather I’ll just pass on some links I’ve collected this morning.
Information on ceremonies and other links: The Detroit Tigers Weblog
Tigers broadcast team Dan Dickerson and Jim Price announce Ernie’s passing, also courtesy of The Detroit Tigers Weblog.
Beck’s Blog, Tigers beat reporter for MLB.com.
Detroit News column from Tom Gage and Lynn Henning.
Detroit Free Press column from Mitch Albom. (Albom can be a tool sometimes, but this is the sort of thing he excels at.)
Al Beaton reflects at The Wayne Fontes Experience.
If you don’t know much about Ernie, this quote (shamelessly lifted from the Bless You Boys blog) about sums up the graciousness of the man:
"I'm not leaving, folks. I'll still be with you, living my life in Michigan, my home state, surrounded by family and friends. And rather than goodbye, please allow me to say thank you. Thank you for letting me become part of your family. Thank you for taking me with you to that cottage up north, to the beach, the picnic, your work place, or your backyard. Thank you for sneaking your transistor radio under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers. I might have been a small part of your life. But you have been a very large part of mine."
-- Harwell's final broadcast, 2002, quoted by Tom Gage, Detroit News
For multiple generations of young Tiger fans, Ernie was the voice of summer and he always will be.