Some Athletes Have The Eye Of The Tiger, But Ernie Harwell Was The Voice

Weekend Edition guest host Don Gonyea has this remembrance of famed Detroit Tigers' play-by-play announcer Ernie Harwell, who opened every spring season by reading a section of the Scriptural's Song of Solomon.

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DON GONYEA, HOST:

It is baseball season. The first of this year's Grapefruit and Cactus League exhibition games in Florida and Arizona were held yesterday. For decades, for fans of the Detroit Tigers - and count me as one - the new season began with a moment of lovely scripture, courtesy of the late Tigers' radio play-by-play man Ernie Harwell. Every year at this time, Ernie would open his mic for the first pitch of the first game of spring training recite this passage:

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)

ERNIE HARWELL: For lo' the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Happy New Year, everybody. It's Tiger Baseball 1993.

GONYEA: That's Detroit's Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who passed away almost three years ago at age 92. The lines are from the Song of Solomon. So, baseball fans, spring is here. A moment to pause, to take it all in and play ball.

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