Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Painting A Picture

Ernie Harwell passed away yesterday, the longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster. I’m not sure if I ever heard him do a game, but as Mike and Mike have been talking about him today, playing clips, remembering him, it brought back memories for me.

I remember driving around with my Dad on Sundays, in an old Datsun B210, my right hand on the tuning dial as I tried to keep a baseball game on the radio. Constantly tweaking the AM dial as static invaded the game, I depended on the announcer to bring the game alive in my imagination.

Driving across country, going from VA to CA, in my truck, late at night, listening to a late summer game on the radio, this time with a digital AM tuner so that I can concentrate on driving. The stories told, the descriptions, allowed me to see the action in my head as I traveled alone across the US.

Coming back from skiing with my family in CO, listening to the Rockies as everyone was asleep, me coming down I-70 out of the mountains into Golden. Vividly since it was only 5 or 6 years ago, I remember Todd Helton at bat and the announcers describing his 14 pitch at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch on a Monday night, wearing down the opposing pitcher.

These are a few memories that I have of baseball on the radio. I’ve had many others listening to football or basketball on the radio, on the move, unable to see things on TV, but still enjoying the action, feeling my heart race as something amazing happened. Announcers paint a picture through which we can enjoy the game, and great announcers make you feel like you are there.

RIP Ernie Harwell.

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