William Earnest “Ernie” Harwell (January 25, 1918 – May 4, 2010) was an American sportscaster….who was known for his long career calling play-by-play of Major League Baseball games….where for 55 seasons….with 42 of them with the Detroit Tigers….Harwell called the action on radio and/or television. In January 2009, the American Sportscasters Association ranked Harwell 16th on its list of Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time.
Harwell was known for his low-key delivery, southern accent (Detroit “Ti-guhs”), and conversational style. Some of his trademark phrases were:
“That one is long gone!” ….his trademark home run call with emphasis on “long”.
“He stood there like the house by the side of the road, and watched it go by.” ….after a called strikeout.
“Called out for excessive window shopping.” ….also after a called strikeout.
“It’s two for the price of one!” ….after a double play.
“A fan from [insert a city] will be taking that ball home today.” ….when a fan would catch a foul ball.
“The Tigers need instant runs.” ….when the team was behind in the late innings.
“Straight down Woodward” ….after a strike over the middle of the plate….thus honoring Michigan Highway M-1 which bisects metropolitan Detroit into east and west.
Harwell would also begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (King James Version)….“For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”
Simply put, we at ImaSportsphile are absolutely delighted to have this wonderful tribute to the baseball legend known as Ernie Harwell….as his place in the annals of MLB history is so duly deserved….for his talents and career will always be a part of our treasure chest of vintage memories.