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May 7

Ernie Harwell the Role Model

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ernie HarwellErnie Harwell, Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster died Tuesday night, “quietly, at home, with his wife and children by his side, and when the news was announced in Minnesota, where the Tigers — Ernie’s team — were playing, fans there gave him a standing ovation. In Minnesota!” A tribute to a man who worked for the opposing team for several decades.

What would prompt such an outpouring of love?

Ernie inspired:

Harwell was born “with a speech defect that left him tongue-tied” but through therapy and forcing himself to participate in debates and classroom discussions, he had overcome the handicap enough to become a Hall of Fame broadcaster.

Ernie philosophized:

Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”

Ernie was a role model as a husband and as a human:

His wife of 68 years Lulu Harwell, explained why Ernie was so friendly: “It’s Ernie’s nature not to say bad things about people. His mother told me that when he was a little boy, Ernie wouldn’t stand for his brothers saying anything bad about anybody.”

Ernie was humble:

In 1961, when he realized his success in life did not feed the deepest longings of his soul he met and committed his life to Jesus Christ at an invitation offered by Billy Graham during an Easter service during spring training.

Ernie was hopeful:

After his terminal diagnosis Ernie said that “Whatever happens, I’m ready to face it…I have a great faith in God and Jesus.”

I’m ready to face what comes,” he said at the time. “Whether it’s a long time or a short time is all right with me because it’s up to my Lord and savior.”

Harwell referred to death as his next great adventure, a gift handed down by God.

His illness, reported the Detroit News, “only led him to further embrace his Christianity and to try to be of humble consolation and inspiration to as many people as he could during his long and extraordinary life.

The greatest thing that can be said about any person when they have gone to their eternal peace is that they made the lives of others better, fuller, more verdant.”

Ernie was respectful:

World Series hero Kirk Gibson said, Ernie Harwell “was an icon. The saying that you treat people the way you want to be treated, he represented that to its fullest.”

Harwell was so much more than an announcer. He was a voice inside of us as well as outside of us. A voice you still can hear, even though the world has silenced it. He was a man to admire, a satisfied soul, a shining example of life lived purely and honestly. And because of that, Ernie will live on inside everyone who ever met him, shook his hand, gave him a hug, or simply heard his soothing words come through a tiny speaker in a car radio, or through an earphone hidden from the teacher on a school day afternoon.”

Rapid Packaging owner and TreeHouse board member Mike Sime wrote in an email today, that God “has brought us all together ‘For Such A Time As This’. Satan would like nothing more than to discourage us in these tough times…”

I hope that amid the tough times in life that I live well.

Ernie Harwell died well, I hope to follow his example and live well. I hope you will too.


If you want to know more about Ernie Harwell I recommend listening to Ernie Harwell’s Audio Scrapbook. If it remains unavailable, you can ask to borrow our copy.

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