Skip to comments.Tigers announcer Harwell has (inoperable) cancer (91-year-old Baseball Hall of Fame announcer)
Posted on 09/04/2009 10:08:39 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
DETROIT (AP)Ernie Harwell, the 91-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers, said Friday that he has inoperable cancer.
Harwell told The Associated Press he has a tumor near a bile duct. He said he knows he may go through some painful days, but is in good spirits and appreciates the good wishes hes received from hundreds of fans.
Harwell spent 42 of his 55 years as a broadcaster calling Tigers games, from 1960 to 2002. He said he has been flattered to hear so many people tell him about the role his voice played in their lives.
Its a great honor to be part of the family like that, Harwell said. It was fun. You love these things. You cant take them too seriously.
So-called fame is fleeting.
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.yahoo.com ...
This breaks my heart although I knew the day would come.
Ernie: May God comfort you until your “turtle cries out”.
I grew up listening to Ernie. Godspeed, and prayers for Ernie and his family.
(”He stood there like the house by the side of the road...”)
The man is an absolute saint. He has been married to the same woman for 60 some years and was the voice of the Tigers since I was a kid. I am 62. I pray for him and wish him the best and God Speed. You won’t find a finer guy. God Bless you Earnie.
I still remember wondering, "how does he know that the guy who caught that ball is from Ypsilanti?"
Thoughts and Prayers, Ernie and family!! You are true Gem!
Very sorry to hear about this. I always enjoyed hearing him call games when I lived in Michigan. I will always remember the outcry after his unceremonious firing, which forced the Tigers to bring him back. A class act all the way, Ernie said he would only come back if nobody else lost their job as a result. The Tigers had a very crowded broadcast booth that season. Ernie began his career in the 1940’s, calling games for a minor-league team called the Atlanta Crackers. Looking back now it’s hard to believe that there actually WAS a team called the Atlanta Crackers! Prayers for Mr. Harwell and his family.
Exactly, man. I play with my kids and do the same routine.
I used to be able to listen to his voice come from across the fields as it was played on the fender-mounted radios on those green tractors bailing hay.
A true Icon and Great.
I’m the same age.I used to listen to all the great baseball announcers at nite on my transistor radio in N.E.Pa.
I wonder how much is inoperable and how much it is just a 91 year old who is probably to frail to survive the operations and treament. Depends on its spread, but a pinpointed cancer “near” a bile duct can’t be too hard to get at surgically, since gall bladders are removed all the time!
That being said, prayers for him and his family!
Love that guy.
Even decades after leaving Detroit, I can still recognize his voice.
Something tells me he took God up on that offer years ago and made it a prized possession.
From a former Michigander, I was deeply sadened to hear the bad news today. Harwell is still the best baseball broadcaster that I have ever heard. I grew up listening to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey on those long summer nights. Harwell’s a classy guy and didn’t back down in 1991 when former Tigers owner Tom Monahan (owner of Domino’s Pizza) was going to let him go. Harwell was reportedly told to resign due to “health reasons.” Harwell said “no,” called a press conference and told the press the truth, that he was being fired. I’ve hated Monahan and Domino’s ever since.
I’ll never forget Harwell’s famous calls:
“And he stood there like the house beside the road and watched that one go by.”
“And it is looooooooooooooooong gone!”
I was always perplexed growing up how Harwell, from his broadcast booth, could find out so quickly the hometown of the foul ball catcher in the stands. It would go something like this ... “And Kirk Gibson swings and fouls one off behind the the Tigers’ dugout. And a young man from -———— makes a nice catch in the stands.” Harwell would fill in the blanks with a Michigan city or town. I always wondered, how did he know the man was from Flint? How did he know? He made it up! That’s the magic of radio from a magical and legendary baseball announcer, Ernie Harwell.
Ernie’s voice instantly takes me back to my wonderful childhood in the northern suburbs of Detroit. It’s all over there now...things are really bad in the Detroit metro area.
Prayers for Mr. Harwell.
Same here. I had a pastor who was a big Tigers fan and somehow got to know Ernie. He came to our church a few times as a result. A real gentleman. May his last days be good ones, and a harbinger of even better things to come for him...
My favorite broadcaster growing up. His voice jumped out of a cheap clock radio sounding like hi-fi stereo. They don’t make them like him any more.
Sad MI ping.
As a lifelong Tigers fan this is a day I’ve been dreading for a long time, even though at 91 years old, that’s a pretty good run. May his remaining time be in comfort.
I certainly empathize with you Tiger fans. As a Cardinal fan, we went through this several years ago with the loss of the irreplaceable Jack Buck.
For those that have followed his career and post-retirement life there would seem to be little doubt regarding his future beyond this earth. Some excerpts from an article in today’s Detroit Free Press:
“His voice was clear, his spirit strong, his words tinged with humor.
But legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell had bracing news to deliver Thursday: He has a tumor in the area of the bile duct. It is incurable. Yet Harwell said he feels calm and prepared for what comes next.
We don’t know how long this lasts, Harwell said in a phone interview. It could be a year, it could be much less than a year, much less than a half a year. Who knows?
Whatever’s in store, I’m ready for a new adventure. That’s the way I look at it...
And also, I think that when I heard the news, that I had this cancer, that I had a feeling of security and serenity ... but I had a feeling of acceptance because of my belief in Jesus and the Lord...
Harwell said his wife, Lulu, remains strong and shares his belief in God. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary Sunday.
We walk hand in hand wherever we go, Harwell said. We still love each other. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
For the first time, his voice wavered, slightly.”
If you would like to be on the ping list let me know.
This will be a medium volume ping list during the baseball season and a low volume ping list when all life stops in late October.
One of the all time great broadcasters of baseball. An icon.
And also, I think that when I heard the news, that I had this cancer, that I had a feeling of security and serenity ... but I had a feeling of acceptance because of my belief in Jesus and the Lord..
Praise the Lord
Sounds like a done deal to me.
Well at risk mixing the sports metaphors
Now if you've Believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, We'll all be able to spend eternity with Brother Harwell discussing how God the Father was so gracious in blessing us through Brother Harwells talent.
If you would like to be added or dropped from the Michigan ping list, please freepmail me.
I hope his time on this earth passes as peacefully and painlessly as possible. My screen is all blurry.
Prayers for a wonderful man.
My youth is filled of memories of listening to Ernie call Tigers games on my transistor radio while I was out doing chores on the humid Michigan homeland.
Good luck, Mr. Harwell!
I grew up in a relatively big family, six kids. Hard to get quality time with Dad. I would sit in our garage and listen to Ernie calling Tigers games with Dad while he did dad stuff—tuned up the mower, sanded and refinished secondhand furniture, etc. To this day I can’t catch the scent of wood stain without hearing Ernie’s voice in my head. Oddly enough, my parents are spending the night here—they’re up from Georgia for just a few more days. Dad is already in bed, so I am spared giving him the news until tomorrow. Just damn.
A Tiger fan since 1967, I spent many evenings on the back porch listening to Ernie on the radio. Later I “graduated” to headphones on the living room floor (so I wouldn’t bother the TV watchers). Radio was the only game in town....
I joined the ranks of the Tiger faithful in 1971, and also grew up with the sounds of Ernie and Paul in my transistor radio....remember the west coast trips in summer, when I had the radio under my pillow to muffle the noise at 1 am, as to not wake up my brother in the same bedroom.
the 72 season, the embarrasement of 1975,the rebirth of Tiger baseball with The Bird (RIP), and the slow talent gathering that led to a glorious year in 1984. An incredible run in 1987, and then years of medicocrity..and through it all, Ernie was our rock.
I met Ernie in 1989 at Tiger Stadium, quite by chance.
God Bless you, Ernie Harwell. You were a huge part of my childhood, and helped to fire a lifelong love affair with the greatest sport.
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