View Full Version : Sad news: Ernie Harwell has passed away at 92

05-04-2010, 08:23 PM

Very sad news. The man had a great voice and loved baseball and seemed like a terrific person. His interview with Bob Costas on MLB Network a couple months ago was one of the more fascinating interviews I've seen. RIP Ernie.

Ernie Harwell, the acclaimed Tigers broadcaster whose eloquence and kindness made him a beloved Michigan institution, died Tuesday night after a nearly year-long bout with cancer. He was 92.

He died in his apartment at Fox Run Village, a retirement center in Novi, with Lulu, his wife of 68 years, at his side. His death came eight months to the day after he revealed to his fans, in an interview with the Free Press, that he had a cancerous tumor in the area of his bile duct and that in late July he had been given only a few months to live.


05-04-2010, 08:36 PM
One of the true greats.


05-04-2010, 08:43 PM
I've mentioned before on favorite broadcaster threads that I have memories from the seventies, when I was growing up, of taking my transistor radio after the Reds games were over and listening to the end of Tigers games because I liked listening to Harwell. He's probably my all-time favorite (sorry Vin, but you chose broadcast Dodgers games, which automatically disqualified you.)

Chip R
05-04-2010, 08:53 PM
Very sad news. :(

05-04-2010, 09:00 PM
Very sorry to hear this. One of the great voices in the game.

05-04-2010, 09:01 PM
Legends like him are rare.

RIP Mr Harwell.

05-04-2010, 09:14 PM
RIP to one of the best in his business

05-04-2010, 09:22 PM
From Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman on the death of Ernie Harwell:

"Ernie Harwell, it goes without saying, was one of the greatest in the history of our profession. More important than that, however, he was one of the finest people I've ever known. I was privileged to call Ernie my friend. I will miss him greatly."


05-04-2010, 09:30 PM
Very, very sad indeed

05-04-2010, 09:50 PM
Very sad news. :( Ernie was quite possibly the greatest baseball announcer I've ever heard.

Sea Ray
05-04-2010, 10:04 PM
Truly one of baseball's great radio announcers.

Ironic that Bo Schembechler once fired the guy because he thought he'd gotten too old yet Ernie ended up outliving Bo.

05-04-2010, 10:09 PM
A legend. R.I.P.

Reds Fanatic
05-04-2010, 10:40 PM
Very sad news. I remember listening to him call games on the radio when I was a kid. Probably my favorite annoucer other than Vin Scully.

05-04-2010, 10:41 PM
RIP Ernie, you taught me so much when I was young, I can't ever forget it or you.

05-04-2010, 11:40 PM
Rest in Peace, Ernie. Gave me a lot of joy as a youngster.

05-05-2010, 03:28 AM
A true great. Very sad day...and the guy was pretty sharp for 92.

Ron Madden
05-05-2010, 03:33 AM
RIP Ernie, One of the best I've ever heard.

Vin Scully
Ernie Harwell
Mel Allen

If there is any way you can listen to or read a transcript of Ernie's acceptance speech to the Hall Of Fame I recomend you do so.

Ron Madden
05-05-2010, 03:58 AM

Very sad news. The man had a great voice and loved baseball and seemed like a terrific person. His interview with Bob Costas on MLB Network a couple months ago was one of the more fascinating interviews I've seen. RIP Ernie.

I agree OBM, that was a very fascinating interview.

05-05-2010, 04:02 AM
He died in his apartment at Fox Run Village, a retirement center in Novi, with Lulu, his wife of 68 years, at his side.

When one has to leave this earth you couldn't ask for a better situation then this.

RIP Ernie.

05-05-2010, 04:03 AM
RIP Ernie a true great voice of the game. As I grow olderi realize how few of these legends are now actually calling games.

05-05-2010, 07:24 AM
I had just thought about Harwell a couple of days ago. I wondered how was doing and thought it was good he lived long enough to see another baseball season start. Even though we knew his death was inevitbale it's still very sad. He was one of the best baseball broadcasters of all time. As good as a broadcaster as he was he was an even better person. R.I.P Ernie Harwell.

Roy Tucker
05-05-2010, 07:58 AM
From his HoF speech:


Baseball is the President tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from the corner of his dugout. That's baseball. And so is the big, fat guy with a bulbous nose running home one of his (Babe Ruth's) 714 home runs.

There's a man in Mobile who remembers that Honus Wagner hit a triple in Pittsburgh forty-six years ago. That's baseball. So is the scout reporting that a sixteen year old pitcher in Cheyenne is a coming Walter Johnson. Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.

In baseball democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rulebook. Color merely something to distinguish one team's uniform from another.

Baseball is a rookie. His experience no bigger than the lump in his throat as he begins fulfillment of his dream. It's a veteran too, a tired old man of thirty-five hoping that those aching muscles can pull him through another sweltering August and September. Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.

Baseball is the cool, clear eyes of Rogers Hornsby. The flashing spikes of Ty Cobb, an over aged pixie named Rabbit Maranville.

Baseball just a came as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.

Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World's Series catch. And then dashing off to play stick ball in the street with his teenage pals. That's baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying., "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.

Baseball is cigar smoke, hot roasted peanuts, The Sporting News, ladies day, "Down in Front", Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and the Star Spangled Banner.

Baseball is a tongue tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball! Thank you.

05-05-2010, 08:15 AM
Quoting my son, who at age 28, didn't hear Harwell in his prime, but still loved what he did - "I feel like baseball just lost its voice".

05-05-2010, 09:26 AM
Maybe it's purely anecdotal but it seems like so many baseball announcers live long, rich lives. Must be something to that doing-what-you-love thing.

Rest easy, Mr. Harwell, you were one of the great ones.

Ron Madden
05-05-2010, 11:42 AM
From his HoF speech:

Thanks WOY.

05-05-2010, 12:40 PM
I didn't realize he had passed away until I saw the piece that ESPN did for him on Baseball Tonight last night. He was definitely one of the great ones. RIP Ernie :(

05-05-2010, 12:43 PM
I agree OBM, that was a very fascinating interview.

They're showing it again today on MLB Network for those interested.

05-06-2010, 12:14 AM
Here (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126536445) is a nice piece from NPR All Things Considered on Ernie:

Ron Madden
05-06-2010, 03:23 AM
It's not easy to explain why but fond memories and thoughts of Ernie Harwell kept popping into my head today.

It's not like I listened to him everyday of my childhood, I might have listened to Ernie call a game on average a half dozen times a year.

He surely is one of the best there ever was. You always had the feeling that Ernie was speaking directly to you, that he was glad to be there, enjoying the game with you.

I wish I could have had the chance to meet Ernie in person. He sure seemed to be a Baseball fan and Gentleman without ego. He will be missed.


Ron Madden
05-06-2010, 04:27 AM
Wrong thread Sorry.

05-06-2010, 07:18 AM
Here's another very good tribute to Harwell written by Joe Posnanski of SI.