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Ernie Harwell Tribute
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Ernie Harwell: The Voice of the Tigers

  Ernie Harwell Tribute

A Legend Leaves the Booth

Ernie Harwell: The Voice of the Tigers

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Ernie at Tiger Stadium
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Ernie in the Press Box
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Voice of the Tigers
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I will never forget the many hours of my youth listening faithfully on the little transistor radio of those wonderful Tigers exploits. That ball was caught by a long-time Tigers fan from Higgins Lake. You made us feel like part of the Tigers family and are forever members of the Tigers fan club. With you we discovered the endless charm of the game and hope that springs eternal. Thank you.
   ~  Don Moore, Portland, Oregon

Only one thing is a sure sign that Spring is around the corner. Not the first 50 degree day, not the first sight of a robin, not even some day on the calendar in March. It is none other than the warm, storied voice of our beloved Ernie Harwell. Once Spring Training nears in February, I start gearing up for the opportunity to hear his call of the action on the field. Combining his own personal style with his historical perspective of the game allows a listener to feel as if nothing else matters but baseball. I have a second son on the way due in the middle of May. My wife and I have not yet settled on a first name but his middle name will be nothing other than Harwell in honor of this great pioneer of the game. We will miss you Ernie. On the final day of this season, when the game is finished and my radio is turned off, I'll have no choice but to stand there like a house by the side of the road and reflect upon my great fortune to have heard Mr. Ernie Harwell, the greatest there ever was, call a Detroit Tigers baseball game.
   ~  Andy Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thanks for all the fun for all those years.
   ~  Ed

I have been a Tiger fan since 1959. I had to move to Arizona 12 years ago and I have missed The Tigers greatly. When I got a computer 3 years ago, I was so excited to learn that I could once again hear Ernie Harwell broadcast the Tigers!! I am so sad that Ernie is retiring, but he has left me with some of the greatest memories in my 52 years of living! Thank you and God Bless Ernie Harewell.
   ~  April Trickey, Tuscon, Arizona

I just turned 30 years old, and Ernie has been a part of my life since before I can remember. He is not only a great broadcaster, to me he is the Tigers. More so, he is baseball.
   ~  Natalie Neff, Ferndale, Michigan

Ernie Harwell IS and ALWAYS WILL BE Detroit Tigers Baseball. George Kell and Ernie Harwell, in my opinion, are and were the very BEST baseball announcers ever. When Mr. Harwell was absent (for that short time a couple of years ago) a part of baseball died and it will never be the same. I know that thousands of fans will agree with me on that one. I am very grateful that all of my sons have had the opportunity to hear Ernie Harwell call a Tigers baseball game, and they all agree that he is second to none. When I was growing up my dad and I listened to hundreds of games with you and George at the microphone. It was some of the best times I remember spending with my dad. Thank you, Mr. Harwell.
   ~  Don Mulvany, Vermontville, Michigan

We will all miss you, Mr. Harwell, but your retirement is well deserved. I'm only in my 30s, and until the day I die, he'll always be the voice of the Tigers to me. He did what few sportcasters do today - actually enhance the experience of watching the game. I can still remember sitting up at night as a boy, listening until the final out as he and Paul Carey called Tiger games. I hope the Tigers and Detroit do something classy like changing the name of one of the streets around Comerica Park to "Harwell Drive." Again, my very best to you, Mr. Harwell, for a long and happy retirement!
   ~  Dean Niforos, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

The thing I remember most about Ernie was back in 1988. It was the annual Tigers-Mud Hens exhibition game. I arrived early with my grandpa to try and get autographs. I remember turning around and seeing a guy who I thought was Ernie Harwell walking through the stands. I approached him and said, "Mr. Harwell?" As soon as he said, "yes," I knew it was him. I had my picture taken with him and have that picture up in my study at home. He was so personable and polite. Thanks for the memories Ernie!!
   ~  Matt O'Connor, Toledo, Ohio

Dear Mr. Harwell, I was saddened to hear that you would be retiring at the end of this season. As a child growing up in Detroit, you were one of my heroes. You made Willie, Al, Mickey and Denny all come alive every night. You also helped me get through those long years at the Stadium after the 1972 Season. I cannot begin to write in an e-mail all the life's lessons and enjoyable moments I have learned from listening to you all these years. One quick story: For the 1968 season I was living with my family in Sao Paulo, Brasil, after dinner I went in to the living room to see what was on Armed Forces Radio. My sister and I went screaming back into the dining room "Ernie's on ..Ernie's on..." The whole family moved to the living room to listen to you and Ray Lane. Thank you for all you have done for all of us through the years. You have touched more people than you could possibly imagine. Good Luck and God Bless.
   ~  John Dobel, Thousand Oaks, California

You will be missed. I grew up on listening to you on the radio. The Tigers broadcast will not be the same without you.
   ~  Natalie Ann, Westland, Michigan

Hello Ernie! Maybe, I'm one of your latest fans, but you know how I like you and you voice. Since we met in Lakeland during Springtraining '99, you are a friend for me and I'm really proud to have met you. I'm sure there can't be more for a Tigers fan than if he can say "I met him and he's one of the nicest men I've ever met !!!!"
   ~  Christian Wurfel, Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Ernie your really going to be missed! Good luck in everything you do. Hope to see you at the games. I don't know what they will do without you!!!!
   ~  Tracy, Michigan

I grew up listening to Tigers games on WJR. Ernie's golden voice always signals the end of winter in my house. When I first started dating my wife, we would often spend the evening driving around listening to Ernie call the game. My original plan to propose to my wife was to have Ernie make me a short tape of him calling a Tigers game and during a break in the action say "John from Ft Wayne has a question...Becky will you marry me?" I broke down and proposed on Opening Day of the 1994 baseball season instead. It would have been cool, though!! Thanks for the memories, Ernie, and enjoy your well deserved retirement.
   ~  John Moher, Fort Wayne, Indiana

I just want to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" and thank you for being the "Voice of the Tigers" for all of my life. Although I am not that old, I grew up when watching a Tigers game on TV was something reserved for the weekends, and that was only for home games. But you were there every game on my radio. You really made the game come alive with your discriptive play-by-play and your intimate knowledge of baseball. You were -- and are -- a member of the Nowling family. You've been there for Sunday dinners and weeknight cookouts, at the lake and at work, too. I am going to miss that Georgia tenor voice coming over the air each spring. Thank you from someone who loves baseball. Enjoy your "Retirement!"
   ~  Bill Nowling, Brighton, Michigan

My first memories of Tigers Baseball go back to 1961 when I was 8 years old. That was a great year to begin following the Tigers, and I have listened loyally ever since. I have probably heard Ernie's voice as much as anyone else in my life. Ernie's voice has been the last one I heard many nights over the last 42 years as his gentle voice led me into a peaceful sleep. I have seen Ernie many times but never have had the opportunity to meet him personally. I never wanted to bother him, although from all the stories I have heard of him he was always very frendly to the fans. I have enjoyed listening to him and will miss him tremendously. I will miss his gentlemanly ways and his great way of painting a picture of the game. One phrase I remember from Ernie when I was a kid was in the 9th inning or so of a close game he would often say "hang on to your Stroh's now." This was back when Stroh's was a constant advertiser on the Tigers broadcasts. As great an announcer as he is, I believe that he is an even better person. Ernie, thank you for your years of loyalty to the Tigers and Tigers fans. God bless you and Lulu in the years ahead.
   ~  Bill Feyen, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I remember as a child visiting my grandparents in Kalkaska or Cheboygan and catching a game on TV, sometimes on the radio, with Ernie and George at the mic. Grandma got me hooked as a Tiger fan early in life. Last year, I purchased the MLB Internet package and listened to Tigers games on my back porch. It was a lousy season, but Ernie made it great entertainment and something to look forward to at the end of a long day at work.

There's something special about baseball on the radio. No other sport can be quite as entertaining when you let your imagination be the canvas while the announcer paints the pictures. It takes a master like Ernie to conjure up a masterpiece. In my lifetime I've heard three great announcers--John Ward (University of Tennessee), Red Barber, and Ernie Harwell. I doubt we'll ever hear their likes again.

You're the greatest, Ernie. I wish you and Lulu many, many more years ahead of happiness and good health.
   ~  Pete Pinckney, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee

Don't go! You'll never wear out your welcome. It's not too late to change your mind...Stay, just a little bit longer?
   ~  Bev Young, California

I would just like to say a warm thank you to the most soothing voice in baseball, Ernie Harwell!! This guy gives you the true essence of baseball in the truest form. He's a Tigers announcer (thank God!!), but he gives props to every good play and player. I've been listening to Ernie for nearly all of my 38 years, and there's no one announcer who will be missed more than you, Ernie. I'm sure you've been told this many, many times, but you ARE the greatest at what you do!!! Thanks again!!
   ~  Tommy Selling

Mind of Summer ~ An original poem
We feel the loss of his voice
even as he speaks, a voice
that demands nothing but captures
all, that speaks to us of our own
march in the company of friends,
and enemies; that walks through a field
of busted plays as if nothing happened.
He is father to all of us children
wanting what we can't have, teaching
us instead that moments spent in
the mind of summer, are like no other.

   ~  Robert Hamel

Ernie Harwell is baseball. I first heard him when my dad was listening to a game on the radio back when I was 6 or 7. The only thing that gets me through the cold February is knowing that very soon I will be hearing him calling the plays of our beloved Tigers. A lot of the times, when I am watching the game, I turn the TV on mute just so I can listen to Ernie. And, of course, I always bring a portable radio and headphones with me to the park. For me, it's just not a Tigers game without the voice of Mr. Harwell. So on behalf of myself, my fellow Tigers fans, and baseball fans in general, goodbye Ernie Harwell. You are a true gem to the game and will be dearly missed.
   ~  Mary DeFillippo, Sterling Heights, Michigan

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