Ernie Harwell, the 91-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster who has worked both radio and television for the Detroit Tigers, said Friday that he has inoperable cancer.
Ernie Harwell, the 91-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers, said Friday that he has inoperable cancer.
Harwell told The Associated Press he has a tumor near a bile duct. He said he knows he may go through some painful days, but is in good spirits and appreciates the good wishes he’s received from hundreds of fans.
Harwell spent 42 of his 55 years as a broadcaster calling Tigers games, from 1960 to 2002. He said he has been “flattered” to hear so many people tell him about the role his voice played in their lives.
“It’s a great honor to be part of the family like that,” Harwell said. “It was fun. You love these things. You can’t take them too seriously. … So-called fame is fleeting.”
Harwell began feeling bad this summer. He said he had surgery last month for an obstructed bile duct, but doctors later advised him against further surgery for the cancer they found.
“They told us what the situation was,” he said. “We trusted their judgment.”
Harwell was born Jan. 25, 1918, in Washington, Ga., and began his broadcasting career in 1940 as a sports commentator for WSB radio in Atlanta. He later broadcast for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Harwell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1989.