William Ernest Harwell - 1918 - 2010 For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
One of my strongest memories of listening to Ernie Harwell call a Tigers game was as a kid. I was supposed to be sleeping, but I turned on my transistor radio and caught the end of a Tigers game. I don't know who they were playing, but the Tigers were down going into their last bat in the bottom of the 9th and Sweet Lou Whitaker hit a walk-off home run to win it and Ernie Harwell belted out, "It's Loonng Gone, Tigers Win!"
Two things that I think need to be done to honor such a Tigers and Major League Baseball legend:
- The Tigers need to have one game each year designated as Ernie Harwell Day.
- Buy out the Comerica corporate sponsorship and rename it Harwell Field or Harwell Park.
The Comerica Park sponsorship is a $66 million deal over 30 years which began with the stadium's opening in 2000. Small price in order to pay tribute to a broadcasting and Tigers legend. That is, if there isn't a clause in the contract that prohibits a buyout.
Information and other links about Ernie Harwell
A public viewing will be held at Comerica Park beginning at 7am Thursday, May 6th. Free parking is available at lots 1, 2, and 3.
The Detroit Tigers will wear patches on their uniforms as tribute to Ernie Harwell for the remainder of this season.
I strongly urge you to get a copy of the Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook. You will be able to listen to the Voice of the Tigers any time you wish. Here is a non-affiliate link to purchase a copy - Ernie Harwell's Audio Scrapbook.
As long as we have our memories, Ernie Harwell will never truly be gone. We'll remember Lonnng Gone!, Called out for excessive window shopping, Foul ball caught by a man from Kalamazoo, Two for the price of one, and many others he delivered in that smooth cadence with a hint of the south where he was born and raised.
Once again, the video of Ernie Harwell thanking the fans on September 16, 2009 -
I think Ernie said it best in his September 30, 2002 final sign-off as a Detroit Tigers radio broadcaster -
"And rather than good-bye, please allow me to say thank you.
"Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for taking me with you to that cottage up north, to the beach, the picnic, your work place and your backyard.
"Thank you for sneaking your transistor under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers.
"Now I might have been a small part of your life. But you have been a very large part of mine. And it's my privilege and honor to share with you the greatest game of all.
"Now God has a new adventure for me. And I'm ready to move on. So I leave you with a deep sense of appreciation for your longtime loyalty and support.
"I thank you very much, and God bless all of you."