The Corner

re: Ernie Harwell, R.I.P.

A number of readers wrote in response to my short obit of Ernie Harwell. First, a nice anecdote and a reminder of just how far the signal from big AM radio stations can travel:

I grew up in Jamestown New York.  My father has been a Tigers fan since the 1930s and I was too.  I was in first grade in 1968 and loved Al Kaline.  But mostly I remember Ernie Harwell and listening to WJR in the car and living room for all those years.

My highlight however was attending an Tigers Indians doubleheader in Cleveland in college.  Between games I went to the press box to see if I could say hello and thank Mr Harwell.  The guard said no but I was able to leave him a note.  I wrote my appreciation and asked him to give ‘long time Tiger greetings to my father.  He did and my father was driving home from a meeting and heard the great man’s words.

He was all class and will always be the voice of my youth.

And here’s a remembrance from a fan of the team that employed Sparky Anderson before he became a Tiger:

Your post at NRO about the late Ernie Harwell struck a deep chord with me.  I didn’t hear him broadcast very much, having grown up in Dayton listening to Reds broadcasts, but I always enjoyed hearing him.  One expression he also used for a batter taking a third strike, “Guilty of excessive window shopping!”, still makes me smile.

I’ll rank Mr. Harwell with the man who will always be the only voice of baseball  for me and was a very different man from Mr. Harwell, Waite Hoyt.  Both men were bright, articulate and spoke to the listener as if he ware a colleague.  It’s been more than 40 years since Waite Hoyt last broadcast a Reds game, but for me it still feels completely unnatural to turn on a baseball broadcast and not hear him speaking.  I can see Mr. Harwell has a similar relationship with you.  That is something you will always  cherish.

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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