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Thank you, Ernie

Posted By Shane Liebler On May 4 2010 @ 9:39 pm In Detroit Tigers | 3 Comments

He made baseball special to me.

Just like the game itself, he was always there. There in the speakers of the home stereo, there creeping out of a passing car window, there on dad’s headphones that he wore to the ballpark just to hear Ernie’s call.

He was there on the rides home from Tiger Stadium as my father and I visualized the final moments of the game we had just left just a little early.

Those warm tones, that smile you could hear through the airwaves, the occasional lie about the origin of a foul-ball-catching fan.

You remember.

He was there.

And he remains etched in the memories of father, who like me grew up with that particularly sweet summer sound of baseball. His voice still echoes in the garage of my parents’ current home, where my grandfather sat on summer nights and listened to Ernie. My great-grandfather, too — and just about anyone who lived in the state of Michigan between 1960 and 2002 — we are all connected by him.

He made baseball special to me.

Perhaps it was appropriate that I was walking the dog near a baseball diamond when I heard the news on my earbuds.

I sat on the bleachers and pulled the phone from my pocket.

“Dad, it’s Shane … ” and even to write the news as I it told him would break me to pieces again.

We knew it was coming, but of course it still hurts.

I still love baseball. But, it will never be quite the same.

Please share some of your favorite memories of and thoughts about Ernie Harwell and be thankful we are Tigers fans who had such a great privilege for all these years … for all these generations.

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