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Ernie Harwell memory thread

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I told my wife tonight - the man is a freakin institution for generations.

Myself, growing up in the 50s - listening with my dad, Ernie talking about Frank Bolling

and Ray Narleski, Don Mossi.

My wife growing up in the 60s.

My sons to this day. All of us - having Ernie as our baseball memory.

THATS A LOT OF MEMORIES! We're thankful for them all.

A finer man you will never find. RIP Ernie.

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I would guess there are a lot of people born in the 50's, who lived about 90 miles from Detroit, have a special memory of static, the smell of leather, a transistor radio --- all because of Ernie Harwell

radio.png

1950s?!?

Heck, I had one up to about 8 years ago. Believe me, the children of the late 1970s and 1980s had those transistor radios as well.

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It makes me a bit sad and regretful that I never really had a meaningful Ernie Harwell memory. I didn't really care about baseball until after he had retired (2003ish), and I never got to experience a real meaningful Tigers moment announced by him.

I think Dan Dickerson is a fine man who does a great job, but boy do I wish Ernie could've called that home run in 2006...

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I can't even begin to count how many summer nights, as a kid, Ernie's voice was the last thing I heard before I fell asleep. All throughout the 80's I could never make it much past the 5th inning.

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1950s?!?

Heck, I had one up to about 8 years ago. Believe me, the children of the late 1970s and 1980s had those transistor radios as well.

True dat!

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The transistor radio comments triggered something in my memory. When I was a kid, I TRULY WAS A HUGE TIGER FAN. I know we all say we loved the team, but in every neighborhood you have the 1-2 kids that knew all the scores, the batting averages and had that dang transistor radio with him no matter where we went. If you went to a hobby train convention, there'd be that kid with the transistor radio - I was that kid. I was taping games off the radio in the late 1970s at the end of every season, so I could listen to the games. Unfortunately, I didn't keep those and taped Top 40 countdowns on them.

But one year my goal was to purchase one of those bike radios that you could get for - well - your bike. I got it and screwed the thing on my bike. It didn't work very well at all. So, quickly I returned to my transistor radio around my hand when I rode the bike.

At the time I can't say I did it BECAUSE of Ernie. I was a Tigers fan. I would've listened to anyone doing the games. But my appreciation for the man (and Paul) grew during those years. They were my eyes for about 120 games a year. I think today's generation (and even us older folks who have forgotten) doesn't realize what it was like to have about 45 games on TV and most of them on the radio. Radio was your primary way of listening to the games. The TV games were like the holidays. But we all lived experiencing the seasons primarily through radio. Ernie and Paul were those voices during those years. We were lucky to have them.

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My memories are the same as so many others here: lying in bed listening to the 1100pm games out of Oakland and Anaheim, the two west coast cities; listening to him on the local affiliate up north while vacationing amused by ads for local farmers co-ops instead of ads for Honey Baked Ham (with the Herb Alpert outro!); memories of 1984 walk-off winners called by the only man I'd ever heard done it; so many others I can't continue to list them.

Maybe it's trite to say that Ernie was Tiger Baseball, but it was true. I so strongly preferred Ernie that I would turn down George Kell (considered another Tigers institution) to listen to Ernie over the telecast.

And of course, a gentleman par excellence.

Godspeed, Ernie.

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When he was fired by the Tigers in the winter of 1990, my mom wrote him a letter. I was a senior in HS and wanted to be a sportswriter. She told him that in the letter.

In December we got a letter back where he thanked my mom for her kind thoughts. He wished me luck in my senior year and encouraged me to call him at home before he left for Lakeland in January and he'd give me some advice and put me in contact with a mentor. He gave me his phone number. I kick myself all the time for never calling him. We still have the letter.

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Don't have one memory, I have thousands. Mine started in 1962, I was 6.

I learned how to love the game sitting in the back seat of my fathers car, listening to games.. mesmerized. It morphed into listening by myself in my room , to the transistor under my pillow, every night. He was my friend, words describing pictures. It's a relationship I cherished through my childhood and into adulthood, like my father passed it to me, I have passed it to my son, throughout the generations of my family, it's a spirit and a feeling that transcends my families generations. Ernie was part of my family and I can never thank him enough for being my friend and teaching me the game.

Ernie Harwell brings a smile to my face and his passing a tear to my eye.

Good Bye Ernie, you may be gone, but you will forever be in my heart and my mind.

Edited by sportz4life

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Laying in bed with the windows open and the reciprocating fan blowing. Hearing the crickets and frogs singing in their loudest summer song voices outside. Clock radio beside me listening to the Tigers vs. "insert team name here". No TV. No video games. Just a clock radio and Ernie/Paul. Hearing the gong's at the top of the hour. Hearing the official scorer in the background over the ancient Tiger Stadium PA. The 15 seconds for station ID that only took 7 or 8, leading to 6 seconds of dead air.

No worries about bills, mortgages, medical insurance, or wars. I want to go back. I miss it so much.

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I am glad to have met Ernie several times.

I began listening to him with my family in the late 1960's, while the grass was being cut or at a family picnic. "It will be Dick McAuliffe to lead off for the Tigers follwed by Stanley & Kaline here in the bottom of the first."

My memories of Ernie's voice are also of warm summer nights. In the 1970's it was blue skies at game time, green grass and a cloud of dirt up at second base as Ron LeFlore would steal another base. The Bird's mannerisms were described as the game was coming to an end.

In the eighties it was Gibby, Tram, Lou, Sparky and the rest.

Of course there were those late night games out west with broadcast partner Paul Carey.

As one friend once said to me "Ernie is everybody's uncle."

Peace to all - as Ernie is now a new bright "star" in the "muscular soap opera" in the sky.

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Listening to a Ernie Harwell broadcast while driving around the ballpark, whether it be pre or postgame made Tiger Stadium come alive. It was truly magic, to this day a baseball stadium brings a sense of nostalgia that is hard to relate to non-fans.

Also, taking our boat to the Ausable River and anchoring. Casually fishing, while playing Ernie's voice that seemed to echo over the water. He'll be missed.

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My favorite memory of Ernie kind of shows my young haha...I was 14 years old, summer of 2000. It was August and the Tigers had got themselves one game under .500. It was a day game against the Mariners I think it was and it wasn't on TV, I listened to it on the radio...the Tigers won and it was the first time they had been .500 that late in the season that I could remember. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, listening to Ernie call the game just seemed fitting.

It isn't a memory, but I've always thought it was cool to think I listened to the same guy call games that my Grandpa and Great-Grandpa listened to. Anyone that really loves baseball and loves the Tigers knows it almost like a big family, from the people here on Motown to going different places around the country, I've been in different ballparks when the Tigers aren't even there and usually see someone with a Tiger hat on which usually leads to a little conversations. For all of us like that it's almost like we lost our Grandfather of our Tiger family and I'm just glad I was able to listen to him for the little time I was able to.

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bilde?NewTbl=1&Avis=C4&Dato=20100504&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=5040803&Ref=PH&Item=32&MaxW=600&MaxH=450&border=0&Quality=100

Left to Right - John Wockenfuss, Aurelio Rodriguez, Ernie Harwell and Bill Freehan in the Tigers locker room. (circa 70's) (Detroit Free Press File Photo)

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bilde?NewTbl=1&Avis=C4&Dato=20100504&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=5040803&Ref=PH&Item=32&MaxW=600&MaxH=450&border=0&Quality=100

Left to Right - John Wockenfuss, Aurelio Rodriguez, Ernie Harwell and Bill Freehan in the Tigers locker room. (circa 70's) (Detroit Free Press File Photo)

That's a great picture.

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I grew up pre-cable/pre-satellite, so we listened to so many on the radio.

I was a turn-it-down-low for West Coast games, and my dad would usually turn the radio off as I was crooned to sleep by the 5th inning by Mr. Harwell.

We never seemed to mind doing chores at night outside if there was a game at 7pm. Yard work was done with the Tigers game on full blast from the garage, my dad's old, black, greasy radio with the huge dials.

And if we didn't have chores, our neighbor Joe had the radio going and smoking a cigar as he puttered. He would have transitor in hand and come out front to see us kids playing in the street and gives us tips on poppin' wheelies, perfecting a tennis stroke or ref a game of kickball.

Ernie and Paul were always there.

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I'm thinking of Ernie today with moist eyes and a smile on my face at the same time. I can't separate him from my own personal past, so I guess that means part of me has died. Living out of state for many years, I could tune in WJR on a clear summer night and there were few things for me as a kid more special or magical than tuning the radio dial and suddenly hearing that voice. Thank you, Ernie.

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Read a great quote today.

Breaking news: Ernie Harwell got traded on 5/4/2010... he is now the broadcaster for the Angels.

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Another sort of memory I have is in early 2002 we moved to the infield area from our regular seats. Jim Thome hit a foul ball off Jeff Weaver and I caught it off the rebound from the suite level. I remember hoping that Ernie said "A man from Dearborn....."

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Too many to cite, although one very recent memory stands tall:

Ernie's MC'ing of the closing ceremonies for Tiger Stadium. Me standing in the left field lower deck seats, tears streaming down my face as all my heroes strode in from the center field gate that I had once entered the field from. I will never forget that day, as long as I live.

I was also in the lower deck left field seats. My buddy and I were in row 1 or 2. Forget the section number. I have the ticket stub around here somewhere.

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