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.
- Song of Solomon, as quoted by Ernie Harwell every Opening Day
I'm sure you've all heard our beloved Ernie Harwell passed away last night.
Of course, Ernie and his voice were part of what made us Tiger fans. I hope you all had a chance to meet the great man at least once, even for a momentary exchange as I did. (and yes, this is the time and place to share your story.)
I was living in Cleveland when Ernie and Herb Score (former Cleveland pitcher, then broadcaster) were giving a talk. (You know I couldn't stay away.)
It was wonderful, full of great stories from both fellows. At the end, they came to the edge of the stage and guess who was waiting for them with his 1968 Tiger Yearbook?
I asked Ernie to autograph it, and he said (quite unassumingly) "You don't want to ruin that, do you? It's in great shape!"
When I said that I didn't think it would be be ruined at all, he shrugged his shoulders, and said, "O.K., where do you want me to sign it?"
When I suggested on Al Kaline's brilliant white home-team pant-leg pictured on the cover, he said "You sure?" I said I would be honored.
ESPN ran a beautiful tribute to Ernie last night, and you can see it at: