Ernie Harwell Diagnosed With Incurable Cancer
September 4, 2009 at 4:43 AM (PT)
Baseball broadcasting legend ERNIE HARWELL has told the DETROIT FREE PRESS that he has been diagnosed with incurable bile duct cancer. The 91-year-old former voice of the DETROIT TIGERS has chosen not to receive treatment or surgery.
"We don't know how long this lasts," Hall-of-Famer HARWELL told the FREEP's BILL MCGRAW. "It could be a year, it could be much less than a year, much less than a half a year. Who knows? Whatever's in store, I'm ready for a new adventure. That's the way I look at it."
TIGERS team physician MICHAEL WORKINGS, who is part of HARWELL's care team at HENRY FORD HOSPITAL, issued a statement saying, "Mr. HARWELL is a beloved and iconic figure who has touched so many lives across MICHIGAN through his Hall of Fame broadcasting career and support in the community."
HARWELL has been doing work for BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN and will retire from that position after recording two more commercials for the BLUES this week. He will also wrap up his column for the FREE PRESS, with the final column running this month.
HARWELL's career in radio started when he called ATLANTA CRACKERS minor league baseball for WSB-A/ATLANTA. After a stint in the MARINES, HARWELL called BROOKLYN DODGERS games in 1948-49, moving to the crosstown GIANTS in 1950-53 (calling the famous BOBBY THOMSON "shot heard 'round the world" for NBC television in 1951), calling BALTIMORE ORIOLES games in 1954-59, then replacing VAN PATRICK as the voice of the TIGERS in 1960. He was dropped by the TIGERS and WJR-A/DETROIT in 1991, briefly called CALIFORNIA ANGELS games in 1992, and returned to the TIGERS under new ownershio in 1993.