Michigan Almanac: May 2010 Archives

Ernie Harwell, Michigan's most beloved broadcaster ever, has died this evening at the age of 92 in his home in the Detroit suburb of Novi after an inspiring fight with bile duct cancer.

There will be countless accolades and articles written about the life of a man that cared for his family, friends, and fans in a way that no one ever has before or will again. Whatever it is that is written, it won't be enough to capture just how much Mr. Harwell meant to our state.

Godspeed Ernie and thank you.

 

 


 

Detroit Free Press:

In Ernie Harwell's voice, the South rose again and conquered Michigan in a way no one else ever has. When Harwell arrived in Detroit to join the Tigers radio broadcast team in 1960, he was an unknown to Tigers fans. When he died Tuesday night at his home in Novi, at 92, after nearly a year-long bout with cancer, he had a strong case as the most beloved figure ever in Michigan. He rose to that cherished place through the combined power of radio and baseball and just as importantly his own charm and warmth, which were as steady through the decades as his unchanging Georgia accent. Harwell did Tigers radio from 1960 through 1991, then -- after an ill-conceived dismissal by the Tigers that lasted only one season -- he did a combination of Tigers radio and TV from 1993 through 2002. He ended his 55-year big-league career at the end of 2002 season... Ernie Harwell dies at 92 (Tue, 5/4)

 

In a telephone interview tonight, Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline was asked why Harwell was so overwhelmingly popular in Michigan. "There wasn't a nicer person," Kaline said. "He had time for everybody. He lived here and stayed here. He didn't just work here and then go away in the off-season. He would have young announcers up to his booth all the time and give them advice. He had time for everybody." Kaline worked as Harwell's broadcast partner on television in the 1990s... Dignitaries share warm memories of Ernie Harwell (Tue, 5/4)

 


 

Detroit News:

Ernie has died. After a battle against bile duct cancer, one he knew he would lose, Ernie Harwell died Tuesday. He was 92. With his death, Michigan -- and baseball -- loses one of its most beloved figures. For 55 years, Harwell was a major league broadcaster, 42 with the Tigers. He broadcast his last game Sept. 22, 2002. Instead of moving away from the Detroit area, he spent his final years in Novi, still being part of our lives as an author and corporate spokesman. William Earnest Harwell was born Jan. 25, 1918 in Washington, Ga. As a boy, his family moved to Atlanta, where he grew up loving newspapers and baseball, which is how and why he became a paperboy and a batboy for his hometown minor league club, the Atlanta Crackers... Legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell dies at 92 (Tue, 5/4)

 


 

MLive.com

The voice that we fell asleep to while listening to baseball games on transistor radios, the one that called Detroit Tigers games for four decades and became part of our lives, has gone silent. Ernie Harwell died Tuesday of cancer. He was 92. Harwell was the 1981 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, placing him in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown as a broadcaster. He said that his induction speech and the Christian testimony he gave at a Billy Graham Crusade in Tampa were the two most memorable speaking engagements of his life. He loved God, baseball, his family and countless friends. "When you met Ernie Harwell, you walked away feeling you were his best friend," said Tigers radio broadcaster Jim Price, who first met Harwell as a rookie catcher with Detroit in 1967. "People who never met him before would say, 'It's like I've known him forever.' "He was very unique that way." Harwell was a one-of-a-kind person and broadcaster, who had first-hand experiences with nearly every big name in the history of the game... Hall of Fame Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell dies at 92 after battle with cancer (Tue, 5/4)

 

Two of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's television partners -- PlayON! Sports (PlayON) and When We Were Young Productions (WWWYP) -- announced Monday (May 10) that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge their companies. The combined company will bring together the deep production and distribution experience of WWWYP, the extensive technology platform of PlayON, and the high school association relationships of each company. The combination of assets creates the premiere high school sports network and the leader in producing, distributing, and monetizing video content in the high school category.

The company will have offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Madison, Wisconsin, and Lansing, Michigan with additional offices planned in Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, and South Carolina. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

PlayON and WWWYP currently partner with seven (7) state high school athletic associations, including Wisconsin (WIAA), Michigan (MHSAA), Georgia (GHSA), South Carolina (SCHSL), Missouri (MSHSAA), Illinois (IHSA), and Oregon (OSAA). The partnership with each state high school association encompasses two primary areas: 1) production, distribution, and monetization of post-season events through television and the Internet; 2) access to PlayON's proprietary technology platform to member schools for self-production of regular season events.

Additional state partnerships will be announced in the near future.

The combined company managed over 2,500 productions of high school events in 2009 and projects to exceed 5,000 events in 2010. It has existing distribution relationships with Comcast, Charter Cable, Time Warner Cable, and Fox Sports Wisconsin, among others.

PlayON President and Chief Executive Officer David Rudolph said, "This is a tremendous expansion opportunity for PlayON and will allow us to continue to aggressively grow our presence in the high school category. Tim Eichorst and When We Were Young Productions have developed an excellent reputation during their seven years of producing high-quality high school sports events and have deep relationships to show for it. Additionally, we are very excited to further extend PlayON's comprehensive technology platform to allow individual high schools to produce and distribute their games."

WWWYP President Tim Eichorst said, "PlayON and When We Were Young Productions complement each other very well. Our companies began working together a year ago and we quickly realized that we had a natural fit in how we approached working in the high school space. Together our position in the market and our ability to deliver on our mission will be even stronger."

To assist the company with its ongoing growth plans, Neal Pilson has agreed to join as a Strategic Advisor, focusing on strategic counsel with special emphasis in areas related to media, distribution, investor relations, partnerships, and growth. Pilson is a senior industry executive, former president of CBS Sports, and is currently president of Pilson Communications Inc. (PCI) where he is active in all areas of sports television, media and marketing.

Pilson said, "High school is the high growth area for the sports and media industry. As the category further develops over the next few years, I am looking forward to working with PlayON and When We Were Young as they continue to expand their leadership position."

 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Michigan Almanac category from May 2010.

Michigan Almanac: April 2010 is the previous archive.

Michigan Almanac: June 2010 is the next archive.

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