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FAREWELL, ERNIE: Fans share Harwell memories
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Updated Sep 27, 2002 10:13 PM ET
Share your memories of
announcer Ernie Harwell as he has finally decides to call it a career. If you want to add to this list please e-mail us at
. Following are some of your comments and memories of the Hall of Fame broadcaster:
"I've listened to you since I was young. You will be missed."
Janet, Boyne City, Mich.
"Baseball is in my blood. I will always hold the game dear to my heart and "long gone" will always echo in my head. I've learned that not all baseball heroes are made on the field."
Jerry, Grand Rapids, Mich.
"I just want to let you know I've always loved hearing you announce
games. I remember drifting off to sleep on summer nights as a little kid with
games on the radio in my room. I'm 25 now and your voice means, ¿summer¿ to me. I'm really going to miss it. Thanks for all your efforts."
Keri Schmitt, Portage, Mich.
"I would like to say that you have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I remember fishing with my dad and listening to the game on a little transistor radio and the famous Ernie Harwell broadcasting the game. You were the only one I would ever listen to. Thanks for all the great memories."
"Ernie, you are the best announcer whoever was. Best wishes always, you will be missed but your golden voice will not be forgotten!"
Steve Petrides, Grand Rapids, Mich.
"I have listened to you for nearly 50 years. My memory of radio broadcasts goes back to about '59, and I can recall getting hooked on the
in '61. Ever since then I have been a fan of the
, and a big fan of you. Your broadcasts of the '68 and '84 seasons are still alive in my memory. They're great memories! Please know that you have been a part of many lives. In my family, my son and brother and I listen to you at every opportunity. Anyway, I could go on and on about the way you have given me much enjoyment. However, there are two thoughts I'll keep of you: you have been a positive influence in my life, and you (apparently) have been a positive influence in other lives. Sir, I don't know what more I could say. Thanks, again, for all you've given."
"Ernie I will miss you, and the way you made the game interesting, even when the
were behind. I have enjoyed your broadcast each and every game. I used to stay up at night listening to the games from California. Your voice was baseball, along with your stories. Thanks again Ernie"
Jack S., Wyoming, Mich.
"Thank you for all the years that you have given to the game of baseball and the Detroit Tiger organization. We are going to miss you. Enjoy your retirement and may God bless both you and Lulu in the years to come."
Janet Doten, Holt, Mich.
"My greatest memories were of my grandfather and I sitting in front of his farmhouse in Pinconning, Michigan listening to you describe his beloved
on a nine volt radio on a Sunday afternoon. I will never forget that the foul ball went to ¿a man from Hamtramak¿ or ¿It's long gone.¿ Thank you for being a gift to Detroit baseball fans and fans all over the United States.
Tim McPherson, Gaylord, Mich.
"Some of the best summer nights of my youth were spent with that voice from WJR in Detroit, unforgettable. Tiger baseball on the radio will never be the same. Best of luck and good health Mr. Harwell, it certainly has been my pleasure."
"As a kid growing up in the late sixties and early seventies I could always hear your voice coming from our landlords apartment upstairs. I would play ball in our yard and imitate your voice. Pretending you were talking about me as well as Kaline, Cash, Horton, Lolich and the rest. Now my son listens to you. It feels like a bit of my childhood is going with your retiring. I just want to thank you Mr. Harwell for all the fantastic memories you brought to my family and me. You are a treasure and will surely be missed.
Brad & Ryan Haywood, Ann Arbor, Mich.
"I would just like to say in my 8 years of listening to Ernie on the radio. My favorite saying is ¿he stood there like the house on the side of the road!¿"
Nick, Ypsilanti, Mich.
"I've been following the
since I was a farm boy near Alma. Harry Heilman was the announcer. I still remember most of the players. I've been listening to you ever since you came to Detroit, through good teams and bad and I've never heard you bad mouth anyone. I've never met you but I consider you a friend. Have a good retirement. I am enjoying mine.¿
Ed Aumaugher, Bradenton, Fla.
"Without you, baseball's next season will be short on shine and lacking in luster. You added a sense of dignity and delight to a sport too long sullied by the shadow of faster, newer, more extreme sports. Detroit will miss your sparkling commentary, historical highlights, and genuine love for the game. I for one, will never ¿hear¿ a game the same way again. Thank you for your years of dedicated service to the teams, the fans, and baseball."
R. McCarter, Ann Arbor, Mich.
"Ernie I just wanted to say thanks for the many years. I used to travel a lot when I was younger, all around the U.S. It seems that every time I came home it was in the summer, I would turn on the radio to 760, and I would hear that voice, and I knew I was home. Thanks for all the warm fuzzies. Long live the Turtle."
"I am 43 years old and have grown up listening to Tiger baseball with Ernie Harwell. When I hear your voice on the air for the first time each year, it is the ¿official start of spring.¿ I enjoyed listening to you all of my life and grew up hoping to play baseball in the big leagues - so that I could hear you say my name. I remember listening to the
in '68, in fact I still have the record album of ¿The Year of the Tiger.¿ That's when baseball was really baseball. I remember listening to George Kell, Larry Osterman and yourself. Man, those are great memories. I hate to see you go, but I hope that you and Lulu have a great retirement and life beyond baseball. You will truly be missed."
Chris Peurach, Madison Heights, Mich.
"We just want you to know how much we've enjoyed listening to you over the years. Your voice, and the Detroit
are one in the same. Your play by play of any game is done with style coupled by your coined one-liners will always be remembered."
Dale and Bette McKellar, Beulah, Mich.
"When I was a kid, our family spent more than our share of time at Tiger Stadium. My dad thought so much of the
and you that, at his funeral in 1998, we played a tape of you calling a play in which Norm Cash (his favorite player) scored a run. It didn't matter how good or bad the
were, he always listened. You say that you've been lucky in life. I believe that we are the lucky ones"
"I don't write many fan letters. The only one I ever sent was to George Kell on his retirement. I guess I wrote the both of you because of all the joy you have brought me during numerous spring and summers. I have listened to you with Ray Lane, Paul Carey, Al Kaline, Jim Price, and Dan Dickerson. I listened to your pregame shows when people like Reggie Jackson would talk with you. I have listened to you in great Tiger seasons and not so great Tiger seasons. My favorite memories of you are ¿the house by the side of the road¿ and ¿watched that one go by¿, the story about Commander Perry leaving a World Series game because of the cold weather. My most favorite though is when you were on UPN 50 and you read my question on the air in which I wanted to know who was more powerful Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard,or Boog Powell. It was a great thrill for Al to answer my question and for you to read my name on the air. I always wished you could have said my name because I was wearing the Old English D leading the
to victory, but this was the next best thing. In closing Ernie, you were always my friend when I had to stay home a year from school, and through all the pain I went through I always looked forward to hear you."
Dave Bouvrette, Filion, Mich.
"I am writing this with tears in my eyes, as I have never known Tiger baseball without your wonderful voice. Whether I was in the barn milking the cows, or on my way to work in my truck you always painted a picture to make me feel like I was sitting in the front row at Tiger Stadium. Once again thank you Mr. Harwell for joining the Tiger organization, and we didn¿t even lose a catcher. I hope you enjoy your retirement and have a long happy time with Miss Lulu."
Kevin Smith, Sidney, Mich.
"It just didn't get any better than Ernie Harwell, I feel so lucky to have heard the best ever for so many years. Thank you Ernie !"
Jeff Charameda, Albion, Mich.
"Best Wishes on your retirement. You have been a part of my summers for over thirty years now. It was you and Paul Carey in the booth when I was a kid. You have been in the car, garage, basement, describing the ¿doings¿ at Tiger Stadium. You made it seem as if I was there. You are a true professional, a
fan, but not a homer. I hope you reconsider your decision on walking away totally from the booth. I sure would like to hear you do a game on occasion. I will miss your broadcasts, as I am a huge Tiger fan. Again best wishes! I truly don't want you to be...¿loooonnnnnggg gone¿ from the booth."
Ron Nagy, Toledo, Ohio
"I have been a long time
fan since 1968. And I have enjoyed listening to you as a child and as I grew up to be a man. Your soothing voice broadcasting a
game on a hot, summer night, or a cool, chilly evening in the fall was what I looked forward to every day. It is a shame that it has to end, but I wanted to thank you for all the great seasons you called for us, and I will miss hearing you in 2003. Enjoy your life with Lulu and enjoy retirement. You deserve it. Thanks for the memories!"
Ken Wimer, Center, Kentucky
"It was 1987 or 1988 and my future wife and I were in Detroit for vacation. (I know who goes to Detroit on vacation?) I still had grandparents and my father still lived in the area. We were staying with my grandmother in Redford for the summer and early one afternoon decided to go to a Tiger game with my dad and stepmother. It was a 7:05 game with the
at Tiger Stadium; we drove two separate cars to the game. About the fifth inning my dad and stepmother (she is not really a baseball fan) decided to leave. Sue and I decided to stay, (I will never leave a Tiger game early!) Around the bottom of the eighth with the score tied and extra innings pending we decided downtown Detroit is no place for a transplanted Detroiter and a girl from California to be at 11:30 p.m. We left the stadium and walked to our car and proceeded home. We arrived at my grandmother¿s house in Redford 1/2 hour later and the game was still in progress. We walked past my grandmothers bedroom when the low sound of a male voice could be heard from the room, which is odd because my grandfather had been dead for 10 years, just then my grandmothers voice could be heard ¿kids come on in¿ We hesitated the male voice could still be heard from the room. ¿Kids come on in.¿ Finally we cracked the door, the lights were off the low male voice could still be heard and the outline of my grandmother could be seen. Finally my childhood memory was jolted my grandmother was listening to the end of the
game and the male voice that we heard from her darkened bedroom was Ernie Harwell the voice of the
. My wife of 11 years and I still laugh about the night we caught grandma and Ernie in her bedroom."
"Congratulations on your retirement. My dad was the biggest influence on my baseball playing. Next to him, you were also a big influence. I would listen to you broadcast Tiger baseball on a transistor radio in the evenings during the '70's. Here in the U.P., there wasn't much Tiger baseball on T.V. so you were our connection to the
. Once again congratulations on a job well done. Enjoy your retirement."
Joe, Ironwood, Mich.
"Even though the
are not that good your ability to call the games like you do makes the
seem like the best."
Mike Darke, Detroit, Mich.
"Lo the years have past, the seasons have come and gone through the good and the bad, you were always there. Now the headset will be put away. The game will go on, but will never be the same. As this voice of the Tiger will be heard no more."
Mike, Bad Axe, Mich.
"I am 14 years old and I am enthralled by your game calls it is my dream to one day announce I often mute the television and practice myself but I am just always captivated when I hear your voice. The first time I heard your call that I can remember I was 7. I will always remember that and all the great memories and inspiring me."
Jake Shreve, Howell, Mich.
"Thank you for all the memories. Over the past 34 years you have become to me much more than the voice of the Detroit
. You have been a voice of comfort, a voice of wisdom and most of all a voice of integrity. You will be missed-but never forgotten."
Rev. Joe Robbe, Portland, Mich
"You have brought myself and all the other long suffering fans of Detroit baseball a reason to still tune in to Tiger baseball. Thank you for all the memories and enthusiasm you brought to each and every game. In retirement, stay active and don't become like your famous phrase of a strike three batter who, watched it go by ¿like a house on the side of the road.¿ We will miss you when you¿re ¿Long Gone¿. Thanks again Ernie. We love you!"
"You made being a Detroit
fan years ago with your colorful way of calling a game. As a young lad, I often times asked my Dad and Uncle how you could possibly know where all those fans in the stands were from. I am passing on the ¿stood there like a house by the side of the road and watched it go by¿ tradition on drives down country roads as we imitate you calling somebody out on strikes. Thanks for your class and the way you became a part of my families¿ generational Tiger baseball fandamonium. You are simply the best."
Ed, Hudsonville, Mich.
"Thank you for being a terrific role model that not all men and women have in their lives. You¿re a man everyone should copy, the real deal, a man of morals and a big heart. Thanks for being the voice of the tigers for as long as I can remember. Thanks for all the hard work and time away from your family to be part of our families."
Mike M., Houghton Lake, Mich.
"You are the Detroit
for me! Listening to you describe them for the five decades that I¿ve been around; from Mantle & Maris vs. Kaline, Cash & Colovito! I remember countless nights of going to sleep listening to your voice on those west coast night games. The good years and lately the bad, you have been a comforting constant for where ever I was in this great state of ours when I heard your voice, I was home!"
Dave & family, Muskegon, Mich.
¿I am one of the many thousands who literally grew up listening to you. My Grandpa and my Dad nurtured my interest in Tiger baseball back in the 1960's when I was not even a teenager. I have vivid memories of my Dad turning off the sound on the TV and listening to the radio while we watched the game because he preferred your expert play-by-play to anyone else's commentary. The sound of distant lightning crackling on an AM radio still instantly brings back listening to the smooth voices of you and Paul Carey as I laid in bed on humid summer nights and struggled to stay awake for the end of the game. Ernie is so many things to so many people. To me, he is a comfortable friend who has provided many pleasant hours of entertainment, even when the games were less than entertaining. He has provided the soundtrack to my summers for my entire life and I will miss him.¿
Dina Hershberger, Kalamazoo, Mich.
"Growing up in Ann Arbor in the ¿60s I never paid particular attention to baseball. But in the summertime, you heard Ernie Harwell's voice everywhere you went. In a store, passing by a house where someone was out doing yard work, at the beach, a radio would be on and Ernie would be calling the game. Then when I became a baseball fan in the late ¿90s, I was delighted to hear that familiar voice again, and to know that Ernie was still there. Thanks, Ernie, to me you'll always be the voice of summer."
Carol, Ann Arbor, Mich.
"I want to congratulate you on your retirement, in all these years as a baseball announcer, my Dad used to listen to you at every game, and when the ball games were televised, my Dad would watch the games on the tube, but would turn the volume down, and turn on the radio and listen to you do the broadcast, because he said he could understand your explanation of the ballgame much better than other announcers. He lived till he was 97 years young, and at one Detroit game, which I took him to, he caught a ball which Norm Cash hit into the stands, and I had Joe Knack, sports editor of the Toledo Blade Newspaper, where I worked for 35 years, get Norm's signature on the Ball, and when he passed away on December 4, 1982, that ball was placed in his casket, because he admired it so much. You had a big part in entertaining my dad in his retirement days, with your great voice in broadcasting the Detroit Tiger Games, and I want to thank you for it."
Charles Kozina, Northwood, Ohio
"Ernie it¿s hard to say goodbye to someone who has been a part of your life for so long. From Don Werts single to score Al Kaline in ¿68 to Kirk Gibson¿s homerun off Goose Gossage. In 1988 I took my oldest son to Tiger Stadium and he met you. He asked you about a career in broadcasting you told him to go to Specs Howard or join the military. You will be happy to know he choose the Army. He¿s been in 10 years has broadcast from N.C., Ark. Germany and Bosnia. I¿m sure glad you guided him in that direction. Good Luck to you & Miss Lulu in whatever the future brings."
Tom Clementson, Indian River, Mich.
"I remember as a boy growing up in the 50's, having my transistor radio tucked between my ear, and the pillow, listening to the tiger broadcasts, and falling asleep to the sound of Ernie¿s voice. Thanks for the memories Ernie."
Vic, Utica, Mich.
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