While driving to Comerica Park this
evening I wondered how I would react as I walked past the coffin of
Several times along the route downtown I fought back tears.
I thought of the hundreds of times I heard his voice.
I thought about particular moments during my life when I could recall
that a Detroit Tiger’s broadcast was playing in the background.
I shared much of my life with him.
Oddly, I thought that my memories were unique – special.
They are special – to me, but they are not unique.
Thousands that walked past his body shared similar stories of growing
up in Michigan listening to baseball games that were broadcast by Ernie
Tonight I saw people from all walks of life stand in line waiting to
pay their final respects to a baseball broadcaster who became a member
of the family, a friend, and a hero.
I fought back the tears for as long as I could. I stood across from
him and I could no longer hold them back.
A piece of us is gone. The memory will live on in our hearts always.
Ernie Harwell was a class-act.
The Detroit Tiger’s organization is also a class-act.
Tigers president, CEO, and general manager, Dave Dombrowski, along
with owner Mike Ilitch, stood to shake the hands of mourners as they
left Comerica Park today.
Outside, park employees handed cups of Gatorade to fans who were
standing in line. Medical personnel walked the length of the line should
someone fall ill during the 35-minute wait.
The Detroit Tigers honored Harwell’s loyal fans with their kindness.
A FORMAL TRIBUTE
On Monday night the Tiger’s will pay special tribute to Harwell at
Comerica Park prior to a game with the New York Yankees.
Jose Feliciano, who caused controversy in 1968 with his rendition of
the National Anthem prior to game 5 of the World Series, will again
perform the anthem. (Many may not know that he was hand picked by
Harwell to perform that year.)
Carey, Harwell’s longtime broadcasting partner, will toss the
ceremonial first pitch.
Also, a flag with Harwell’s initials upon it will be raised in