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Ernie Harwell Has Died

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Ernie Harwell dies at 92 | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

In Ernie Harwell’s voice, the South rose again and conquered Michigan in a way no one else ever has.

When Harwell arrived in Detroit to join the Tigers radio broadcast team in 1960, he was an unknown to Tigers fans.

When he died Tuesday night at his home in Novi, at 92, after nearly a year-long bout with cancer, he had a strong case as the most beloved figure ever in Michigan.

He rose to that cherished place through the combined power of radio and baseball and just as importantly his own charm and warmth, which were as steady through the decades as his unchanging Georgia accent.

Harwell did Tigers radio from 1960 through 1991, then — after an ill-conceived dismissal by the Tigers that lasted only one season — he did a combination of Tigers radio and TV from 1993 through 2002.

He ended his 55-year big-league career at the end of 2002 season. At that time, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully — like Harwell, a baseball broadcaster who is a cherished, unmatchable and forever enchanting Old Master — summed up his Tigers cohort: “He’s such a lovely man. He loves baseball, and he treats it with great respect and dignity.”

On the final day of the ’02 season, during post-game remarks on his farewell broadcast, Harwell almost choked on his own tears because, he said, “I felt so much affection for the fans.”

It continued to be reciprocated. When Harwell retired, he didn’t flee to the warmth of his native South, but lived year-round in Michigan, winter and all, his home having become the state where his voice was a welcome sound in any home.

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Ernie is with our Lord and Savior now -- it is the best place he can be. I thank the Almighty Lord that he gave us Ernie, and will always treasure the time I spent listening to him on the radio throughout my life.

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RIP, Ernie.

I can't be saddened though - he lead such an unbelievable life that it is one to be celebrated.

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If I could only have half the life that he had..........RIP ERNIE.....YOU WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF DETROIT BASEBALL......

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Knew this day was coming, but it doesn't make it any less sad. :(

I hear you, but if there was ever anybody whose life we should celebrate it would be Ernie.

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He will live in my heart & mind until the day I pass. Thank You Ernie for being a great broadcaster and a better person. My condolences to his family and everyone he touched in his life.

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He was a great man in so many ways, touching so many people even after his best days where behind him. We'll never forget the stories, the calls, the voice, the man.

RIP Ernie

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I think of the Santana song, "Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile." No matter how baseball progresses, no matter how the stats will be sliced and diced, my love of baseball will forever be tied to his eye for the game and the rhythm of his voice.

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I never thought that something we all expected to come would sting so badly.

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Thank you for being my friend all those nights growing up. Thanks for the memories

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