September 17, 2009

That's all for today, Tiger fans ...

It was 1981. We lived in Kingsley at the time, but we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa Morgan in Clarkston. The Tigers were playing well after the strike. George Kell and Al Kaline were on WDIV (say that with George Kell's accent, please) but were were listening to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey and watching the action on TV.

Ernie Harwell with John Keating prior to a Tigers game.

Ernie taught me so much about baseball but he also taught me Michigan geography. I remember wondering how he knew where people were from when they caught a foul ball. I guess I just thought "he just knows."

Ernie always had time for Tiger fans. As I watched the events last night on TV, I couldn't help but think that this man, this voice, this gentleman ... had as many fans as the team. He really was the Tigers. The voice of the Tigers, but the Tigers. So many people associate his voice with the Tiger team.

In the early 1990s when Dominoes pizza magnate Tom Monahan orchestrated the firing of Mr. Harwell, I refused to order Dominoes pizza in my dorm room — even if it was the cheapest, greasiest choice. I wrote letters to the editor. I rallied around the "voice."

He was the voice, especially at the Corner, but he was so much more. He was kind, caring, enthusiastic. He told stories of his time in baseball. He told of his experiences with different people, he talked about his family.

He thanked the fans in Detroit for the wonderful reception. HE THANKED THE FANS!

Thank you, Ernie. For all you have done for baseball, the Tigers, my Grandpa ...

Hey, Tigers ... Let's win ONE MORE for Ernie! He deserves it ...

Does anybody else remember the Brewers beating the Tigers on that last Sunday in '81 and making the Tigers miss the playoffs? This nine year old kid remembers it like it was yesterday ...


Carl and Sally said...

What a blessing that you got to know your grandpa so well....and Ernie! Two of greatest people you will know in your lifetime! How wonderful is that? I am so you got to know my Dad! He probably has taught you more than you really will ever know.

Have a good day!

I love your writings!

Carl and Sally said...

I meant to say: I am so glad you got know my Dad!

I left out "glad"