Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ernie And Me

Longtime Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell has died at the age of 92. Cancer took his life but the disease can't take our memories of knowing him as a friend and inspiration. Ernie learned last year his cancer was inoperable but he said he was ready - when the time came - to meet his maker. When I spoke with him in late March of this year, he was typically upbeat and interested in how I was doing and how the season was shaping up for the Yankees. And he always finished our conversation with a hearty, "Call anytime Paul ..." This photo was taken in 2004 after a game in Florida. When I got my first Major League announcing job in 1988 with Cleveland, I was welcomed to the big leagues by a congratulatory letter that was waiting for me when I arrived at spring training in Tucson, Arizona. So here was a major broadcasting talent taking the time to welcome a raw rookie - me - to the fraternity. That should tell you all you need to know about what kind of person Ernie Harwell was.

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