November 24, 2013

If Ernie's On, It Must Be Spring

The following article is from the April 13, 1987, issue of Sports Illustrated. You can read the whole thing here: Ernie Article

April 13, 1987

If Ernie's On, It Must Be Spring

If this is spring, it must be time for Ernie Harwell. Go ahead, tune him in. See if the world isn't stable and orderly and sane once again. You see, that's the meaning of Ernie Harwell. He has been the voice of the Tigers for 27 years. But more important, he's the antithesis of change.

"My philosophy is that the listener tunes in to hear the game. He doesn't tune in to hear Ernie Harwell."

You want to bet?

In Michigan, they say, people tune him in just to feel comfortable. You can read books listening to Ernie Harwell, or go smelt fishing listening to him, or pick mushrooms in the woods with him in your ear. So what if he doesn't tell you the bullpen has been dog meat 10 times in a row. He's a happy seasonal circumstance, one of the comfort zones of spring.

Says Falls, "I know a gas station owner in Clarkston, Mich., name of Dick Morgan, 71 years old. He's been on the same corner for more than 50 years.

" 'Dick, what are your hours?' I asked him.

" 'Well, I work from 7:30 in the morning till five minutes to Ernie.'

"Five minutes to Ernie! You know what a tribute that is to have somebody say such a thing?"

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