He lived an incredibly full life and we all knew it was coming, but it still doesn't ease the sting upon hearing that legendary Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell died on Tuesday at the age of 92. He was the voice of Michigan summers for 42 summers and his passing means that the Midwestern broadcasters booth just got a little more crowded. Can you imagine the stories that Ernie's swapping with Harry Caray, Jack Buck and the two Herbs (Carneal and Score) right now?
I didn't grow up listening to Harwell on a regular basis, so I'll let Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra handle what it means to lose the most familiar friend on your childhood transistor. But I will say that following Harwell's path ever since he announced in 2009 that he had terminal cancer was nothing short of inspiring. From his memorable sitdown with Bob Costas on MLB Network last fall to his awesome love-in victory tour at Comerica Park, Harwell taught us all what it's like to go out as a courageous winner. The great picture above contains all kind of meaning and I'm sure that's exactly how Ernie would like us to remember him.
But, indeed, baseball lost a great man and a great friend today. For more, check out the induction speech he gave in Cooperstown. And, please, feel free to leave your Ernie Harwell stories and memories in the comment section below. Rest in peace, Mr. Harwell.