View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently October 23rd, 2014, 1:26 am



Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
 Not even cancer diagnosis can shake Harwell's spirit 
Author Message
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12139
Post Not even cancer diagnosis can shake Harwell's spirit
Freep wrote:
September 3, 2009
Not even cancer diagnosis can shake Harwell's spirit

Legendary Tigers broadcaster reflects on career, looks to future with resolve

BY BILL McGRAW
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

His voice was clear, his spirit strong, his words tinged with humor.

But legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell had bracing news to deliver Thursday: He has a tumor in the area of the bile duct. It is incurable. Yet Harwell said he feels calm and prepared for what comes next.

"We don't know how long this lasts," Harwell said in a phone interview. "It could be a year, it could be much less than a year, much less than a half a year. Who knows?

"Whatever's in store, I'm ready for a new adventure. That's the way I look at it."

Harwell, who gained an enormous following during 55 years as a major league baseball broadcaster -- 42 of them with the Tigers -- spent about a week in the hospital in mid-August with an obstructed bile duct, and tests revealed the tumor.

He is 91. Harwell, his family and doctors have decided against surgery or other treatment.

Asked what he wanted to have written about him, Harwell spoke about his fans and his faith.

"I don't want to make it too sweet because I don't want to get diabetes as well as this other stuff," he said, chuckling.

Speaking of his many admirers across North America, Harwell added: "I'd like to thank them for their loyalty and support over the years. And their affection, which I don't know whether I deserve or not, but I accept it.

"And also, I think that when I heard the news, that I had this cancer, that I had a feeling of security and serenity ... but I had a feeling of acceptance because of my belief in Jesus and the Lord."

Harwell praised his family, his longtime adviser Gary Spicer, and his doctors and the medical staff in the Henry Ford Hospital system.

In a statement, Michael Workings, team physician for the Detroit Tigers and a Henry Ford Hospital family medicine physician who is part of Harwell's care team, said: "Mr. Harwell is a beloved and iconic figure who has touched so many lives across Michigan through his Hall of Fame broadcasting career and support in the community."

Since retiring in 2002, Harwell has remained busy, writing three books that have been published by the Free Press, releasing an audio scrapbook of his interviews and famous broadcast moments, and working as a health and fitness advocate for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

"Ernie has literally changed people's lives through his efforts to communicate about the benefits of healthy behavior, and we are grateful to him for that," said Blues President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Loepp. "He has been an inspiration to all of us at the Blues who have the honor of knowing him."

Harwell said he plans to retire from his job with the Blues after he records two commercials next week. He plans to complete a fourth book of his columns, which have run for years in the Free Press sports section. The final column is scheduled to appear at the end of the month.

Harwell said he feels good but has been forced to cut back on his daily exercise routine.

"I don't have any pain at the moment," he said. "Because I've lost weight, I can eat almost everything I wanted to. I've come back to my childhood with ice cream and all those good things."

Harwell said his wife, Lulu, remains strong and shares his belief in God. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary Sunday.

"We walk hand in hand wherever we go," Harwell said. "We still love each other. She's the best thing that ever happened to me."

For the first time, his voice wavered, slightly.

Contact BILL McGRAW: bmcgraw@freepress.com

Additional Facts
Got a good wish for Ernie?

Cards or letters can be sent to:
Ernie Harwell
c/o S. Gary Spicer Sr.
Attorney at Law
16845 Kercheval Ave.,
Suite 5
Grosse Pointe 48230

http://freep.com/article/20090903/NEWS0 ... l-s-spirit


Good luck Ernie! Thank you, kind sir, for all the memories! Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this troubling time.

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


September 4th, 2009, 9:45 am
Profile
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12139
Post 
Am I the only one to comment on this??? Does no one else here know or remember who Ernie is? Has he been away THAT long??? Maybe I'm just biased, but I grew up listening to this man call the Tiger's games. In fact, he WAS the Tiger's as fas as I was concerned. Hell, we used to turn off George and Al and listen to Ernie. He was simply the BEST baseball annoucer around and we were damn lucky to have him with our team.

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


September 4th, 2009, 4:21 pm
Profile
Walk On
User avatar

Joined: April 5th, 2006, 5:04 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Rosebush Michigan
Post 
I remember being a small boy and watching tigers games with my grandfather, (who is the reason I'm a lions fan as well) and asking him why he had the TV on mute while listening to radio.

I know now. 8) Ernie's voice is Tigers Baseball and always will be.....

_________________
waiting for 2010 season.....


September 6th, 2009, 12:01 am
Profile
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12139
Post 
Freep wrote:
September 17, 2009
Bless you, Ernie

BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

There were tears.

How could there not be?

The voice of our childhood is in its sunset.

Ernie Harwell is a member of the family. He symbolizes home. He's Detroit's communal uncle, a source of comfort and optimism through the vibrant images he conveyed through radio transistors. It didn't matter if you were driving several hundred miles away. When nightfall came and the radio signals bounced just right, you could still clearly catch him sitting in amazement at Mark Fidrych's 1976 rookie season or the Tigers racing to their 35-5 start in 1984.

And, suddenly, you're transported back to your back porch with your brother on a summer's evening when your only concern as an 8-year-old was whether Al Kaline could recover from his broken arm in time to play in his first World Series in 1968.

Ernie was the calm within the caldron those four searing nights in July 1967, when the Tigers were forced from town as the city burned during the riots. Police wanted home lights off, but radios were on and there was a necessary connection to some sense of normalcy.

It's always hard saying good-bye to a loved one, but celebration eclipsed sorrow Wednesday night at Comerica Park as the terminally ill Harwell thanked the Tigers and Detroit for a life well lived with absolutely no regrets. But the roles quickly reversed, and Ernie found himself the deserving recipient of a city's love and appreciation for his simple kindness and genuine humanity.

He never bailed on Detroit and was always one of its stronger advocates. Such devoted friends are scarce now. That's why it's impossible for those my age and older who've always called Detroit home to fully repay Ernie for all the joy he provided us through the decades.

A heartfelt "Thank You" was a good start.

"I'm truly humbled by the blessings the Tigers and the people of Detroit bestowed upon me," he said prior to the game.

We could say the same.

His longtime friend, Gary Spicer, told me Ernie has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of affection since the news of his diagnosis two weeks ago. He's too modest to understand the impact he has had on so many people simply through the sheer sincerity of his spirit. They don't erect statutes for that but it's nonetheless the greatest legacy any of us can leave behind.

Ernie has courageously accepted the consequences of his cancer. He happily embraces whatever time remains, determined to cherish every moment. He refused to turn Wednesday's tribute into a somber affair. A reporter hugged him following his short news conference and Ernie reassured him that he'll be all right.

"I'm talking to him," said his former radio partner Jim Price, "and he says to me 'Why are you so sad?' He's just an amazing man with an incredible outlook on things."

The Tigers needed special permission from Major League Baseball and the Kansas City Royals to halt the game in the middle of the third inning. Ernie wouldn't have requested this time if this were the Tigers playing Chicago or Minnesota in the throes of a heated divisional playoff chase because he has too much admiration for the game to personally upstage it.

But this was the appropriate touch, consistent with how he always preferred keeping things uncomplicated.

Ernie briefly spoke to the Comerica Park crowd following a two-minute video presentation. Every Tiger stepped out of the dugout. Every Royal stood at attention at the top step of his dugout. And every so often a "We Love You, Ernie" from the audience punctuated the overall celebratory tone.

"It's a wonderful night for me," he said. "I'm very lucky to be here."

And when he left the field to another standing ovation, the organist played "Put On A Happy Face."

He doesn't want us crying.

Contact DREW SHARP: 313-223-4055 or dsharp@freepress.com.

http://freep.com/article/20090917/COL08 ... you--Ernie

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


September 17th, 2009, 11:32 am
Profile
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12139
Post 
And just for a quick blast from the past...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrJDAnhgQ_M

Enjoy! :D

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


September 17th, 2009, 11:41 am
Profile
1st Round Pick
User avatar

Joined: January 1st, 2008, 8:03 pm
Posts: 1213
Post 
Kind of sad to think the Tigers could loose both there legendary anouncers(Kell, Harwell) in just a few months time.


September 17th, 2009, 12:37 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 6 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.