I knew it was coming...so did all of Michigan. Famed Tiger's broadcaster Ernie Harwell had come to terms with his inoperable cancer many months before. But somehow, living in Spokane now, I missed the news of his passing this past May. So I went to the Detroit Free Press where I knew Mitch Albom would have crafted a fitting tribute in his typically profound prose. I was not disappointed. Here is an excerpt:
...There is, in the story of any good man’s passing, the laundry list of achievements that should be mentioned, the fact that Harwell likely was the first baseball announcer to be traded for a player (in 1948), that he called games for the Dodgers, Giants, Orioles and Tigers, or that he missed just two broadcasts in 55 years behind the mike — one because he was being inducted into a hall of fame. The fact that he was there for Jackie Robinson’s career as well as Cecil Fielder’s, that he did 42 years in Detroit, that the press box in Comerica Park is now named in his honor, that he wrote hundreds of songs and penned a famous baseball poem, or that he felt unsatisfied by his path in the 1960s, attended a Billy Graham speech in Florida one night and gave his life, as he told me, “to the Lord,” remaining a devout Christian and living quietly by those precepts for the rest of his days...Read more: Mitch Albom: Ernie Harwell: Gone now, but never forgotten | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20100505/COL01/5050493/0/SPORTS02/Ernie-Harwells-gone-never-forgotten#ixzz0vzqVbPmN
Ernie did indeed fall into the arms of Jesus. He'll be missed.