I received an interesting email the other day from a guy who said he gets misty eyed every time he reads something about the death of Ernie Harwell or sees a tribute played on television.
He wanted to know if it was unusual and if his man’s card should be pulled because he is showing emotion toward a man he never met.
That is an easy question to answer.
Yes, it is OK for every man, woman and child to cry over the death of the former Tigers broadcaster. I tried to explain to the man that he was not mourning a stranger. Ernie Harwell was part of everyone’s extended family. It is OK to cry for a relative.
Ernie Harwell made it to every family picnic. I can’t tell you how many times we went to Belle Isle and listened to Harwell broadcast games in stereo. He was at our picnic table along with eight or nine others within listening distance.
How many times did Harwell sit on your front porch while you mowed the lawn or relaxed watching the stars sipping on a lemonade or beer?
How many times did Harwell come along for the drive up north? You packed the kids in the back, the wife up front and who was right there sitting shot gun? It was Ernie Harwell calling a Tigers victory over the Cleveland Indians.
How many times were you traveling home through Illinois, Indiana or Ohio and the thundering voice of Harwell guided you back home?
He was Detroit. He was the Tigers. He was the state of Michigan and Ernie Harwell was extended family.
So no matter who you are it is OK to ignore the “There’s no crying in baseball” motto and shed a tear for good ol’ Ernie Harwell.
But also remember to celebrate his wonderful life and share a laugh and a smile also.