Saturday, August 14, 2010
2003 Topps All Time Fan Favorites, Ernie Harwell
#107 Ernie Harwell
Here is a card that I got signed through the mail in November of 2008. It was around that time the I discovered The Bench and I started to write to retired players. I utilized this set a bit to send cards to players that I didn't have cards of or if I had cards of them that I didn't want to get lost in the mail. Luckily, I came across this card in the set and an address to send it to.
Harwell, the 1981 Ford C. Frick Award winner, broadcast in the Major Leagues for the Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Tigers, and Angels. He began his big league broadcasting career in 1948 after the Brooklyn Dodgers traded catcher Cliff Drapper to the Atlanta Crackers for Ernie Harwell. It was the only time a player had been traded for an announcer. By 1960, Ernie was with the Tigers. He remained with them until his retirement in 2002 (though he missed 1993 because of a labor dispute).
In May, Ernie passed away after losing an eight month battle with bile duct cancer. He was 92 years old.
If you ever get a chance to attend a Tigers game at Comerica Park, make sure you check out the Ernie Harwell statue when you enter the park. Here is Ernie greeting me at a game in 2007.