Ernie Harwell to me is baseball. I grew up on Ernie. Ernie and I
spent a lot of nights together. At
first it was listening to the games with my Dad in the car or on the radio in
the kitchen, but my true memories of Ernie are more personal, just me and
him. Mostly on hot summer
You see, my room faced to
the south, and always was the hottest in the house, so often, when my parents
turned off the AC at night, I was forced to sleep on the floor. Or at least that’s what I told my
parents. What it really got me was
closer to my stereo. I would turn
it down as low as I could and still hear it, and put my pillow right next to
the speaker. Half the time I
wouldn’t make it to the 7th inning, and wake up for the post game or
even later to some greater Detroit car dealership commercial. The other half it was up to the very end, Ernie and I late into the night.
Not since those summer nights by the speaker, or the perfect atmosphere conditions in Fargo, ND that somehow carried Ernie to me there, has it been the same. Life happened; to me, to baseball, to the Tigers, and now Ernie.
Nothing or no one will ever replace
Ernie, not for me, not for the Tigers, not for Detroit. I hope someday I can find Ernie again.
Not in a literal way, or life after death way, but what he meant to me; the
comfort, familiarity, the belonging.
Maybe it will be in baseball, maybe not. Ernie and me, we will meet again.