Blog Entry

It's a sadder world without Ernie

Posted on: May 4, 2010 9:11 pm
A couple of weeks had gone by since Ernie Harwell told the world he had inoperable cancer, and Rick Reed called Harwell to say hello and offer a few words of support.

And all Harwell wanted to do was ask how Reed was doing in his return to umpiring, after suffering a stroke.

"I called to ask about him," Reed said a few days later. "And he kept asking about me."

And that was Ernie Harwell.

The baseball world is a sadder place tonight, with the news that Harwell died at his home in suburban Detroit. We knew it was coming, but it still leaves us with an empty feeling.

It leaves us wishing that Ernie was here to make us feel better.

He touched so many people in his 92 years, many through the radio and almost as many, it seemed, in person. I know, because it feels like everywhere I've gone in the seven years since Harwell retired as a Tiger broadcaster, someone has asked about him.

"How's Ernie? Do you see Ernie? Tell him I said hello."

The questions kept coming, after Harwell announced he had cancer, but the tone had changed. The questions were whispered.

"What do you hear about Ernie?"

Umpires asked. Scouts asked. Managers asked. And, of course, broadcasters asked.

They cared, because in one way or another, Harwell had shown he cared about them.

I know the feeling. I won't forget that he invited a rookie beat writer to have dinner with him and one of his friends years ago in Baltimore. Or that he called out of the blue years later to congratulate me for getting this job with I would never say we were close, except that Ernie had a way of making everyone feel they were close.

You knew it if you listened to the Tigers every night on the radio. You knew it if you were ever fortunate enough to meet him.

Rick Reed knew it.

That was Ernie Harwell.
Category: MLB

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2010 4:57 pm

It's a sadder world without Ernie

God just got one classy play-by-play announcer.  Go call one of the Babe's games, Ernie!  Rest easy've earned it.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 4:52 pm

It's a sadder world without Ernie

My favorite memory was always pointing out "and a guy from Kalamazoo snagged that fly ball", or "caught by a fan from Sherwood Ohio".  Ernie will always be remembered.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 4:42 pm

It's a sadder world without Ernie

..nice job Danny...

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 4:40 pm

It's a sadder world without Ernie

...we all get caught up in responding to other people's posts, and have to admit that most of the time you're telling someone that they're nuts , or their team sucks..or ..whatever. Growing up in Windsor, Ontario-across the Detroit River from Tiger Stadium..we had the gift of hearing Ernie ..all the time..the best was the summer nights on the porch with the kids and the dads in the neighbourhood. I'd like to tell you that your post made me smile, and remember a simpler time...nobody sucks today...nobodys nuts...just an honest thank-you for a heartfelt post...that's what Ernies influence had on people.. jb 

Since: Jun 12, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2010 12:05 pm

It's a sadder world without Ernie

I remember when I was a kid in 3rd or 4th grade and we were nearing the end of the term. Summer was not only on our minds and on our teachers as well. The last few classes of the year we would be allowed to flip on the radio if the Tigers were playing a day game and listen to Ernie tell the tale from "the corner of Michigan and Trumbell." I can still here his voice in my head when I think of phrases he said that stick out in my mind, I suspect I will always be able to remember his voice. Occasionally now I will listen to a game on the Radio rather than watch on TV and while it isnt the same now as it was then, I think Ernie would appreciate it.

Ernie gave us his love for baseball and sports. In return we gave him our love.

Ernie lived a great life and was grateful. He was given the opportunity to say goodbye and pass on his terms and I am glad for him and his family that he had that opportunity. But I still will shed a few tears when I think back about him. He was a great man and I celebrate his life yet mourn his loss like I would a member of my family.

RIP Ernie, we love you

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 11:51 am

It's a sadder world without Ernie

This year when they read off the names of the deceased for the past year at the yankees oldtimers game i will have added tears for Mr. Harwell. A true Gentleman in every way. RIP Mr. Harwell!!!!

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2010 11:24 am

It's a sadder world without Ernie

as i child i remember listening to Ernie's "long gone" call on the radio, Ernie you will truly be missed.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 11:16 am

It's a sadder world without Ernie

Dear Ernie:

You made me laugh
You made me cry
You made me jump up and down
You made me hump over in my seat

You made me a better baseball fan.
You made me a better person.

You are the best friend I've never met.

I love, respect, and honor you.


Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: May 5, 2010 10:07 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2010 8:40 am

It's a sadder world without Ernie

Outside of Tigers stadium in '84 every car had Ernie on the radio while we waited for the Tigers to win the series. There was a van parked on Trumble in the next block from the stadium, right in the middle of the crowd. The side door was open and the guy had rigged up a 27" TV to watch the game. It was set up so that people could watch through the door. There weren't many people watching. There were more people standing around the cars with the radio broadcasting Ernie. Why watch if you can listen to Ernie call the game. If the Tigers were going to win, it was best to hear it from Ernie's mouth then anyplace else. From another of the millions that grew up listening, Thank you Ernie.

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