Ernie Harwell didn’t like goodbyes – he thought they were sad. Instead, he would rather say hello — hello to a new adventure. Ernie is now on his new adventure up in heaven, but rest assured, he hasn’t left us.
He’ll forever be around us – in a double play (“two for the price of one”), a long home run (“and it’s loooooong gone”), a strikeout looking (“he stood there like a house by the side of the road”), greeting complete strangers with the utmost kindness, and, amongst so many other aspects of life, a rainbow hovering over a new, beautiful stadium just moments after the news broke.
Ernie, we allowed you to so modestly thank your fans when you retired in 2002 and again last year, so now please allow us to thank you. Thank you for having such a warm heart. Thank you for letting my father, brother, friends, and I meet you for dinner nearly 15 years ago. Thank you for treating us like your own grandkids as you’d tell your stories and then so patiently listen to us brag about our little league careers. Thank you for your daily poetry as the voice of Tigers baseball. Thank you for providing so many with their nightly bed time stories, so to speak. Thank you for your inspirational attitude towards life and death. Thank you for being the kind of person who wouldn’t want any Detroit fans dwelling on your passing and the subsequent Detroit sports losses of May 4th. Mostly, though, thank you for saying hello.