Here's the text of the speech via beat writer Jason Beck's blog.
Thank you, folks. Thank you very much. We don't want to be penalized now for delay of the game. But I do want to express my feelings here.
It's a wonderful night for me. I really feel lucky to be here, and I want to thank you for that warm welcome. I want to express my deep appreciation to Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers for that video salute and also for the many great things they've done for me and my family throughout my career here with the Tigers. In my almost 92 years on this Earth, the good Lord has blessed me with a great journey, and the blessed part of that journey is that it's going to end here in the great state of Michigan.
I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan. I love their grit. I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have. And you Tiger fans are the greatest fans of all, no question about that. And I certainly want to thank you from the depth of my heart for your devotion, your support, your loyalty and your love. Thank you very much, and God bless you.
I didn't catch the game on television, but I was listening on the radio. When Ernie Harwell was speaking I had chills. The familiar cadence and easy speaking manner caused a flood of wonderful memories to pour from the far reaches of my mind.
Thank YOU, Ernie, for all you mean to fans of the Detroit Tigers and baseball in general.