The Time I Met Ernie Harwell (And Scored Major Son-In-Law Points) ☀️📂⚾️
Pull up a chair kids, it's story time. Father-In-Laws (FIL) should be remembered on Father's Day too.
- •Background: Ernie Harwell was the Hall Of Fame broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers.The voice of baseball for the Midwest. He retired in 2002 after 42 years broadcasting the Tigers and 55 in MLB total. Here's some video of some of his famous calls for context: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2vGEcx4RSZU#
- •My wife and her father grew up baseball fans, following some sucky team on the north side of Chicago, and my FIL had never been to an MLB game.
- •One of my good friends was managing ticket operations for the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit (where I lived for 6 years and the first 3 of marriage), which is across the street from Comerica Park. The Lions and Tigers traded suites.The Tigers were terrible, losing 100+ games under Allan Trammel. We would go down and sit in the empty suite with him for free on weeknights - not a bad set-up. Probably the only thing I miss about living in Detroit, that and seeing the Red Wings at Joe Louis regularly.
- •For his birthday we decided to surprise my FIL with tix to the game and not tell him where the seats were.He was very 😳 when we walked up and to the suite.
- •It was a Saturday afternoon game, and the suite was fairly full. Still, free food/beer, and great views from the third base side.Major win already.
- •My wife and buddy and I decided to grab some food and sit in the seats outside the suite and watch. I sat all the way to the left, against the railing for the next suite.
- •I kept hearing this familiar voice and finally turned to see Ernie Harwell in the seat next to me.😳😳😳😳
- •I got up the nerve to say "Hi Mr. Harwell" and he said "Hello, young man - please call me Ernie" and reached out his hand to shake.I think I asked how he was enjoying retirement or something like that.
- •Then I asked if he could sit there for a second while got my FIL and had him come say "hi." Ernie said "of course! I'm not going anywhere, I'm used to sitting through the whole game and don't get up much."
- •My wife was like "where are you going?"I said "just stay here please I'm going to have your dad come sit here."
- •Got my FIL and told him to go sit in the seat next to his daughter.Didn't tell him the real reason, said something about taking their picture from inside the suite or something.
- •He sat down and I watched closely as he was watching the game and talking to his daughter, and then I saw him look left a couple times and then turn around and look back at me with his eyes real big 😳.I laughed and pointed and made the "talk" motion with my hand.
- •So I saw them shake hands and then sit and talk for the next 3 innings.
- •Eventually my FIL came back into the suite and my buddy sat down next to Ernie and chatted.
- •He was so giddy and wide-eyed, telling me how they talked about baseball "back in the day" and Ernie told him stories about the old Tigers and Ernie Banks (my FIL's favorite player).
- •The best was him asking me if I planned it.😄😄😄