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Ernie Harwell Biography

A Life In Baseball, Moves Up To The Majors, "thank You," Not "goodbye"


American sportscaster

Ernie Harwell was known for decades as the "Voice of the Detroit Tigers." The play-by-play radio announcer broadcast his first game for the Tigers in 1960, and except for a single season with the California Angels in the early 1990s, he remained with the Tigers until his retirement in 2002 at the age of 84. Known for his perceptive and colorful narrations of baseball games, Harwell is beloved by his fans, many who grew up listening to him. Highlights of Harwell's long career include broadcasting the first American League Championship game, broadcasting the first major sporting event heard from coast to coast, and broadcasting three World Series games. In 1981, he became the first active radio announcer to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"I think I've done more games than anybody," Harwell told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Chuck Finder around the time of his retirement. "Seven decades and 55 years. Even the old-timers came a little bit after I did."

Sketch by Michael Belfiore

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsSports Journalism