"And the voice of the turtle is heard throughout the land..."

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:


  1. "It's a foul ball... and a man from Traverse City is going to take that one home." When I was a kid and Ernie would say that (fill in the city), I used to think, "He knows EVERYBODY!" when, in fact, everybody knew Ernie (or at least we felt like we did). What a golden voice -- and heart. Absolutely the nicest person I have ever met. I was fortunate enough to interview him many times, but the best conversations we had were the ones when we just chatted about family and life. He made every person he met feel like they were a close friend. ESPN gave him a wonderful tribute last night. Check it out here: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5163285
    God bless Ernie Harwell! If only we could all be more like him.

  2. i too had the opportunity to meet this fine gentleman. rather unusual circumstances however. living in chicago, i had made the aquaintance of gary pressy, the organist for the cubs here. gary had never been to tiger stadium, so the last summer it was in existence, he and i drove over. gary had known ernie not only from his legendary attributes, but the previous summer the tigers had been here to play the cubbies. and, gary and ernie talked. ernie told gary if ever in detroit, make time to visit. and boy did we visit. i had the rare opportunity to actually sit in the birdcage ernie sat in for years, broadcasting the games. ernie had me sit in his chair, overlooking the field. he joked about the chicken wire installed to protect him and his partner. he spoke mostly, i listened mostly. you could say I pretty much 'stood there like the house on the side of the road'. (couldnt resist, sorry). its as if he knew me all my life. an incredible comfort in his voice, a welcome, kind and genuine person. talked about the cubbies, chicago, gary's perch above wrigley. Yes, i knew ernie all the years we grew up listening to him, pretty much all of 'my life', but, to meet him in person, to actually be made welcome by him, in his place of employment, where he came into our world from this, his living room, an incredible tribute to this legend we all grew up with. yes, he was, in person, the same as on the radio. we shook hands, he smiled said he 'had to get to work now boys', and it was over. i will never forget this very personal moment with this fine gentleman from georgia.

  3. What a great man. I think Jeff said it best when he commented that we should all be more like him. Humble, kind. To think that he said he was not bitter whne Bo and WJR let hiim go. Thanks goodness Illitch was smart enough to bring him back. I have three things signed by him. One of his books, a hat that he and Willie signed during an appearance at Tiger Stadium and a copy of the record The Year of the Tiger formj the '68 season Ernie and Al both signed it. Ernie did cause me to get a few demerits in high school because I got caught listening to my radio at night and that was breaking the spirit of Grand Silence. Ernie knows he is going to heaven to be in the hands of the Lord, what a comforting thought. I have to admit I did shed a few tears today and I am wearing that hat as we speak. I plan on going down to Comerica tomorrow to pay my respects to one of my heroes. He will never be LONG GONE in my book.