Today a legendary figure in baseball will be lying in state at Comerica Park in Detroit. For those that are not familiar with Tiger baseball, I am referring to the late Ernie Harwell.
Ernie was the announcer for several years for Tiger baseball. His last name was Harwell, but to me and several other Tiger fans, his name spelled S-U-M-M-E-R. On car and transistor radios you could hear Ernie describe the plays on the field with such detail that you really felt like you were there. In fact, I can remember actually being at old Tiger stadium at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull watching a game and people all around me would have a transistor radio pressed to their ears to hear Ernie give the play-by-plays of the game while they were there in the stadium.
He had a unique voice with a hint of his native Georgia accent still intact. But the thing that stuck out with me was his humbleness. I had the pleasure of actually meeting this gentleman at my local library as he was promoting a book that he wrote several years ago. He first gave a little talk, then he took questions from the audience and then he graciously signed autographs. I felt like I was sitting in a living room talking to a favorite uncle rather than listening to a legend. He did not put on any airs and I believe that anyone who knew him personally would say the same thing.
He was a devout Christian and I read where he said he was ready for his next journey. We wish you
Godspeed, my friend.