I just saw the headline over at the Detroit Tigers official site. Ernie Harwell has passed away. For those of you who don't know who Ernie was...I'm not sure that I can explain it to you. I wish I could take you back to my childhood, to the sweaty summers in inner city Toledo where a day of side-lot baseball melted into an evening of riding bikes around the block, and when the street lights came on it was time to jump in bed and turn on the radio--turn on the Tigers and the voice of Ernie Harwell. He was the radio play-by-play announcer for the Tigers for over 40 years, and millions of people in the Midwest have welcomed him into their hearts and homes through that now archaic audio box. He's a legend where I come from, and a bronze statue of the diminutive man welcomes all comers to Comerica Park in Detroit these days.
Ernie was a great man who loved Jesus. He was one of those people who just seemed too good to be true, but everyone that met him said he was even better than they had heard. Though I never had the chance to meet him, I feel as though I've lost a close friend. Good bless you Ernie. A young man from Toledo will be seeing you someday.