One of the greatest voices from baseball history went silent today as Ernie Harwell died at age 92. For 42 years, he was the voice of the Tigers. As a kid in the Midwest, I spent many evenings listening to him and partner Ray Lane on WJR radio booming out of Detroit.
My all-time favorite memory of a Tigers’ broadcast came the night they clinched the American League pennant in 1968. I caught the final inning or two on the radio, then hung on to listen to the post-game celebration. While Harwell anchored from the booth, Lane went down to the Tigers’ locker room, where he was promptly seized by the players and thrown into the showers. But not before Jim “Grand Slam” Northrup grabbed the microphone and started interviewing his teammates.
Great baseball, great broadcasting.
Harwell had an outstanding career, and in retirement he courageously faced the cancer that claimed him.
To you, Ernie, a tip of the cap with a long, deep bow. You were one of the game’s greats.