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Sad News

Ernie Harwell was the reason I choose to get into radio.  Today, it was made public the legandary broadcaster has incurable cancer.  Please keep the Harwell family in your prayers.

Ernie Harwell, 91, has incurable cancer

Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Detroit — He’d been waiting for test results.

His voice last week sounded strong — as strong as always. By the end of the conversation, however, it didn’t.

Ernie Harwell, the treasured voice of the Tigers for all those years, has incurable bile duct cancer. In comments to the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, he said he won’t undergo surgery.

But in those same comments, he said he’s ready for the next adventure.

It’s been no secret lately that Ernie — as nearly everyone knows him — hadn’t been feeling well. He was in the hospital, then out. There’d been speculation about pneumonia. But most of all there’d been speculation something was wrong.

“Just feeling a little weak at times,” he said when called by The Detroit News recently. “We’ll see where this takes us. I know I’ll be in good hands.”

Now he also knows what was wrong.

“We don’t know how long this lasts,” Harwell, 91, told the Free Press. “It could be a year. It could be much less than a year, much less than a half year. Who knows? Whatever is in store, I’m ready for a new adventure.”

That’s Ernie for you.

Life always has been an adventure for him. From his boyhood days in Georgia, to serving in the Marines, to broadcasting Bobby Thomson’s famous home run for the New York Giants — to becoming a Hall of Fame broadcaster with the Tigers.

Life’s challenge will be an adventure as well.

“I’m ready to face what comes,” he told the Free Press, “whether it’s a long time or short time. It’s up to my Lord and savior.”

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