I was just explaining to SWMBO (who's young enough to have missed most of Ernies broadcast years) about who he was, and I said,
"he was the voice that all of the old men sitting in the garage listening to the ballgame heard, and later he was the voice that all of the old men sittining in the garage watching the ball game on a little black and white tv with the radio on listened to." and I got a bit choked up thinking of all the time I spent with my father and other family members listening to Ernie's slow speech and moments of just plain silence. He will truly be missed, and will remain a part of mine, and many others, childhood memories.
Growing up, Ernie's voice was everywhere. Grandpa's garage. The transistor radio in the boat while fishing. In the truck while going to cut wood. Coming from my parent's bedroom nearly every night as we went to sleep.
It wasn't just his unique and soothing voice. It was the way he broadcast that made him so unique. I never realized it until I started reading other people's rememberances, but he would often pause during the broadcast and let the sound of the game carry though. He made it sound as if you were actually at the game.
The broadcasters that have followed are not so gifted, I'm sorry to say. I've tried to listen to games in my garage, but I get so fed up with the constant stream of know-it-all remarks about pitching and batting and everything. Can't we just enjoy the game without having to listen to these idiots chatter constantly?
Thank you, Ernie. For those wonderful summer evenings, where the game didn't matter. Only the sound of your voice making everything seem good.
My wife didn't really understand why I got tears in my eyes when I saw the news Tuesday night that he died.
Ernie was the voice of my childhood. When I was a kid, every night during the summer when I got sent to bed, I'd put the clock radio right by my head and turn on WJR to listen to Ernie call the game. I never met him, but like so many other Tigers fans, I felt like I knew him. And I never could figure out how he knew where everyone in the ballpark was from...