May 10, 2010

A Story About My Grandpa and a Quick Trip to Florida

You have probably heard about Grandpa Morgan and his relationship with Ernie Harwell. Grandpa Morgan knew a lot of famous people - and it never seemed to be a big deal to him. I've heard so much about Harwell lately, that I think maybe I'll change it up now.

Ernie signing an autograph for a polite kid who called him Mr. Harwell. "Excuse me son, I have to get through the gate," he said to me. Wow!

Joe Falls, former sports editor at the Detroit News, was a good friend of my Grandpa's. I was lucky enough to meet Falls a few times, including at my Grandparents' 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1983. Falls was fun to talk to because he was a baseball expert and I liked to learn about baseball from an expert. In '83, I remember asking him in August who would have the highest batting average on the Tigers: Alan Trammell or Lou Whitaker. I can't remember what he said, but I told him I thought they would end up tied. They didn't: Whitaker hit .320 and Trammell hit .319. In '83, the Tigers were on the cusp of something great.

A few years ago, I had lunch with Mr. Falls, his wife, and a few other people. He told a great story about my Grandpa one Spring Training. One of Grandpa's highlights many years was spending time in Spring Training and getting to hobnob with the players and management team because he was with Falls.

But one year, Grandpa got a wild hair and decided to drive down to Florida on a whim to take in some baseball. So, he made the 1,000 mile drive and arrived in Lakeland to find a line at the gate. Grandpa didn't like lines, especially when it came to the Tigers. So, he got back in his car and drove all the way back to Michigan without seeing any baseball action.

"Yeah, right," I said. Falls was steadfast that it happened.
Grandpa Morgan at Morgan's Service. 

I suppose, knowing Grandpa, that it probably happened.

Just another in our series of "Five Minutes to Ernie" stories we can share.

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