Basically this is the worst news ever. Ernie's an absolute gem. One of the best human beings ever to walk this earth, and there never was a better announcer either.
OT: Ernie Harwell diagnosed with cancer
I have his autograph somewhere. I had no idea who he was, but Dad said I should get it. I'm so glad I did now.
Fight it Ernie! FIGHT!
Ditto. Being a shameless fanboy I wrote him a piece of fan mail once. He actually answered back with a card and a short handwritten note. That's how world-class awesome he is.
trip with Ernie Harwell to Chicago to see a Cubs game the year he wasn't doing Tigers games on Mort Crim's plane... I was like 14 yrs old. It was the best experience of my life. I was an aspiring sports broadcaster at that time and Ernie basically made feel like I was his #1 apprentice the entire day. It was one of the best days of my life. He even got us in to see Harry Caray. At the end of the trip as we're parting ways at City Airport, he said in passing to come see him at the booth at Tiger Stadium when I would come for games. At the time I didn't think anything about it, but the next season when he was back in the booth, my dad convinced to me go try and see him, and sure enough that time and every other time I went to a game and he was broadcasting, he waved me past security and I got to spend a half inning in the broadcast booth with Ernie and he'd ask about how I was doing in school and what my college plans were when I was in high school-- even got a high school graduation card from him.
Bottom line-- Ernie Harwell is the grandfather every kid in Detroit grew up with, and I have never met a more sincere, caring man. If you were lucky enough to ever meet him in person and strike a friendship, he is truly your friend for life. God Bless Ernie Harwell.
That is a great story; we are pulling for Ernie over here too.
If there's a clasier, more top notch human being on the earth than Ernie Harwell, I have yet to meet him.
Ernie was my lulabye at night. Baseball on the radio just isn't the same anymore.
Get well soon Ernie. The state of Michigan will shut down on the day you leave us.
i must admit that Dan Dickerson does a nice job
Good luck, and good fight to Ernie. All tiger and non tiger fans alike will say this, as he is truly a hall of famer and a legend as a broadcaster, and an even better person. He is one of the top 5 announcers of all time, and I hope that he will have a successful battle. We're all with you Ernie!
I'm not a baseball fan but I remember listening to him when I was a kid.
This is just, like, the worst thing ever.
That guy is a Detroit Icon and always will be. F#@$ Cancer.
with life comes death but man, this sucks. Still smiling in the face of death, too. class act.
at a Value City Grand Opening way back in the day when I was probably like 6 or 7 years old. He was a real nice guy and signed a baseball for me. Keep fighting the good fight Ern!
Man that sucks. Like most of you I remember listening to him as a kid before falling asleep.
Sounds like there's nothing they can do to fight this one so let's just all hope and pray he's able to live the rest of his life in good spirits and in comfort.
Ernie is a true baseball legend. I remember seeing him in the hallways of Tigers stadium as a kid.
Check out this article, tell me Ernie Harwell isn't about the coolest guy on the planet
a chance to read "Ernie Harwell's Diamond Gems"...do it. And just because I love re-living this quote:
Strike 3 called, stood there like the house by the side of the road...he's out for excessive window shopping.
Also, ERNIE WILL NEVER DIE!
"A young man from Owosso caught that ball!"
Ernie could add color to the most routine of plays. He was one of a kind; the best I ever heard day-in, day-out. He made you look forward to the games, even in the lean years.
Did Ernie ever forgive Bo for the events that led to him being fired? I know the full story has never come out and WJR tried to deflect blame away from the Tigers, but still. So weird that two legends in Michigan sports ended up in that situation.
Wasn't that slogan a bumper sticker or something around that time?
I just read a story about Ernie that basically brought me to tears. There is something truly magical about baseball on the radio.
Baseball + Radio + an announcer who could be your eyes and ears.
Ernie Harwell was one of those.
When I was in middle school, my family would leave early for spring break to go stay in Lakeland for spring training. We stayed at the same hotel as the Tigers and everything. I have distinct memories of Willie Hernandez wearing a three piece suit to breakfast at the hotel restaurant, Cecil Fielder and his Nissan Pathfinder, and seeing Mike Henneman just about everywhere.
My brother and I were total autograph hounds, and we'd arrive early to meet the players and get signatures on cards and balls. It felt like Ernie was just about everywhere. Always super gracious with his time and talking to everyone who was around. I remember him spending a lot of time talking with my mom and dad, while my brother and I chased Tigers with Sharpie's, cards, and baseballs. He chatted with everyone who was there, and I couldn't imagine how many people he spoke to during the course of spring training.
I had one ball in particular that was riddled with signatures. Mostly it was covered with second and third tier players, but here and there you could find Trammell or Sparky written in there. Forget about Cecil. He was impossible to get, although my 5-year old sister somehow managed to get a 5-year old Prince Fielder autograph.
But right in the sweet spot was Ernie. While he signed he asked us how school was going, where in Michigan we were from, what positions we played, and so on. Even as a snot nosed middle school puke, I could appreciate what a great guy he was. "Michigan's Grandpa," indeed!
This was about the time of "Bo Don't Know Ernie." (I still have that bumper sticker packed away somewhere.) Bo was also everywhere around Lakeland, more often than not, sitting in the stands with the fans at Joker Marchant Stadium. I remember that conventional wisdom around West Michigan was that Bo had lost it. Here he'd just fired Ernie, and there was a lot of chatter before his retirement that he needed to go so that UM could compete for more national championships under Mo. There was a LOT of that chatter after Mo coached them to a bowl victory in '88.
I remember my dad nudging me in Bo's direction and telling me to go ask him for an autograph. Heck, I was TERRIFIED of Bo. I'd seen enough games to know his demeanor. Plus, he reminded me of my grandpa, and I didn't like badgering him with requests, either. Eventually I summed up the courage to go ask him to sign my baseball, and he did, right in the sweet spot. He didn't bark or growl at me, and instead gave me that look that my own grandpa gave me which was somehow reassuring and slightly unnerving all at once.
In the three years that our family went down there, and with all of the signatures on that ball, somehow the second sweet spot had never been signed. Not until Bo put his pen there that humid night.
To make a long story longer, I have a baseball signed by both Bo and Ernie, in opposite sweet spots, from the height of "Bo Don't Know Ernie" era.
Later that summer we flew to Boston to watch the Tigers at Fenway and to tool around Boston for a weekend. Through a complete accident, we ended up at the same hotel as the Tigers. We didn't realize it until we walked into the lobby and heard, "I haven't seen you guys since Lakeland! Glad you could make it out here for a game!"
It was Ernie.