Trammell remembers legendary Harwell

Trammell remembers legendary Harwell

PITTSBURGH -- Alan Trammell played 20 years in Detroit and managed the Tigers from 2003-05. He never really had a chance to hear Ernie Harwell, but he knew the voice and the man.

Harwell died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer of the bile duct. He was 92.

"He'll be sorely missed," Trammell said. "A lot of people will be mourning, but he didn't want any of us to feel that way. A great life, 92 years old, and I think we all could hope we could live that long. He did it with class, with dignity. It's sad. We shed a tear tonight. He's a great man."

Trammell said he got a call earlier in the day to give him a heads-up that Harwell's condition was deteriorating quickly.

"What a gentleman, what a great person," Trammell said. "It's a sad day for baseball, not just for the people in Detroit or Michigan. He treated everybody with a quality that very few have -- everybody was the same, whether you're the president or somebody on the street. That's a quality not too many people have."

Trammell called Kirk Gibson on Tuesday to tell him that Harwell's health was failing. The three were together at an appearance in December and able to laugh a lot then and share memories.

"He was very sharp then," Trammell said. "I did hear of late that his health was declining and that he was ready. I think we all know where he's going."

Trammell has heard tapes of Harwell's broadcasts.

"What a voice," he said. "Any great announcer, the first thing that comes to mind is the voice and really painting a picture of the game. I'm a little older and remember growing up and listening to games on the radio. I don't think kids nowadays are as much in tune as we were. I grew up listening to games on the radio. Kirk, growing up in Michigan, [listening to] Ernie Harwell, going to bed with the transistor radio on, that kind of thing. Those are the good old days.

"Very sad. But that being said, I can speak for Ernie saying, he didn't want us to be sad. He's had a great life, and he has."