Remembering Ernie Harwell, The Voice Of The Tigers
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
For more than 40 years, Ernie Harwell was the voice of summer in Michigan and the voice of the Detroit Tigers.
(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)
ERNIE HARWELL: And the windup and the pitch. He swings, a line drive, base hit, right field. The Tigers win it. Here comes (unintelligible) to score, and it's all over. (Unintelligible) singles, the Tigers mobbed on. (Unintelliglbe) scores. The fans are streaming on the field, and the Tigers have won their first pennant since 1945. Let's listen to the bedlam here at Tiger Stadium.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
NORRIS: He was a master of his craft and of the game, and he's in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ernie Harwell died yesterday at 92, and for those like NPR's Don Gonyea, who grew up listening to Harwell's voice on AM radio, it was the loss of an old friend.
DON GONYEA: He arrived in Detroit in 1960, he never left. Ernie Harwell's gentle Southern style was understated, to say the least. He wasn't one of those guys who rooted for the home team. Sure, he wanted the Tigers to win, but he had a journalist's eye in the booth, and he used it to paint vivid pictures on the radio.
HARWELL: Now he kicks (unintelligible), and it's just outside, one of two on (unintelligible). Tigers trail it one to nothing in the third, still trying to get some runs.
GONYEA: He retired after the 2003 season. During his four-plus decades calling Tiger games, Detroit won the World Series just twice. There were many lousy years in there, but we kept listening, not just to our team but to Ernie Harwell. It was time well spent.
NORRIS: NPR's Don Gonyea, remembering Ernie Harwell. He was the voice of the Detroit Tigers for four decades, and he died yesterday at the age of 92.
HARWELL: And the last time up, Wilcox(ph) struck him out. Three to go, and it'll be a perfect game for Wilcox. He has seemed very composed to be on the brink of this historic moment. Now he heaves a sigh, looks in to get his sign. Here is the pitch on the way. (Unintelligible) fly ball to left. Here comes Herndon(ph) digging. He's there. He's got it, and it's two to go, a soft fly down the line in left field picked off by Larry Herndon.
NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
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