Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The end of a wonderful life

Baseball lost a giant Tuesday night when Ernie Harwell passed away at the age of 92. He spent 55 years as a baseball broadcaster, 42 of them with the Detroit Tigers.

The Detroit Free Press has a wonderful obituary here, and it captures what Ernie meant to the people of Michigan far better than I can. What I'll remember most about him was the wonderful, eloquent eulogy he gave when Twins announcer Herb Carneal passed away. Ernie was friends with almost everyone in baseball, it seemed, but he and Herb had been sharing pre-game dinners for decades, and Harwell made the trip to Minnesota just to give the eulogy.

A man of deep faith, he died at age 92, with his wife of 68 years at his side, having spent most of his life as the most popular man in Michigan. He told friends last year of his terminal cancer diagnosis and said, "Whether it’s a long time or a short time is all right with me because it’s up to my Lord and savior.”

It's hard to imagine a more well-lived life.

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