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Today, baseball fans in Detroit and far beyond celebrate the life of legendary play-by-play announcer Ernie Harwell. Born on this day, January 25, in 1918, the “Voice of Tigers baseball” called more than 8,500 Major League Baseball games spanning over five decades, including 42 years with the Detroit Tigers.

For many baseball fans, Harwell’s voice was the embodiment of baseball. His warm and approachable style, punctuated with anecdotes and funny asides about his beloved wife, Lulu, endeared him to every baseball fan as far as the airwaves would take him.

“Thank you for sneaking your transistors under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers,” he said upon his retirement in 2002. “Now God has a new adventure for me.”