Ernie Harwell (born January 25, 1918 in Washington, Georgia) is a former Major League Baseball announcer. For 55 years (42 of them spent announcing Detroit Tigers games), Harwell called balls, strikes, and home runs over the radio.
After graduating from Emory University, his career began as a copy editor and sportswriter for the Atlanta Constitution. In 1943, he began announcing games for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association, after which he served four years in the Marines. In 1948 Harwell became the only announcer in baseball history to be traded for a player when the Brooklyn Dodgers' General Manager, Branch Rickey, traded catcher Cliff Dapper to the Crackers in exchange for breaking Harwell's broadcasting contract.
Harwell later served as the play-by-play man for both the New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles before becoming the "Voice of the Detroit Tigers" from 1960 to 2002. He was fired in 1992, but a popular outcry led to his reinstatement on television the following year; he resumed full-time radio duties with the team in 1998.
Harwell was elected to the National Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1989, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998, and was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981 as only the fifth broadcaster to receive its Ford C. Frick Award, among many other honors.
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