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Around Detroit: Ernie Harwell Exhibit

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In 1966 Ernie Harwell began donating Baseball memorabilia to the Detroit Public Library. At the time Harwell was a young sports broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers.

From 1960 – 2002 Detroit Tigers broadcasts were led by the charming southern drawl of Ernie Harwell.

Harwell passed in 2010. His legacy and impact on the Tigers, baseball and Detroit remain significant.

Ernir Harwell Collection A photography by Mark Mastropietro
Ernie Harwell Collection photography by Mark Mastropietro

Ernie was born in a small Georgia town. He began his broadcast career for a minor league baseball team in Atlanta. In 1948 Ernie moved up to Major League Baseball, and began calling games for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Harwell’s older brother was a librarian.  Upon his brother’s encouragement, Ernie began donating baseball memorabilia, books and artifacts to the Detroit Public Library. For over 40 years generous donations grew into an expansive collection.  Today the Ernie Harwell exhibit embodies the history of baseball.

The Ernie Harwell collection is at Detroit’s Main Public Library. Dawn Eurich manages the Harwell collection. The Harwell collection is a part of the Burton Historical collection. Touring the exhibit is free for all library card holders (all ages and Michiganders are welcome for a tour). Upon my visit, I found the most compelling artifact to be Roberto Clemente’s bat.

Ernie Harwell Collection photography by Mark Mastropietro
Ernie Harwell Collection photography by Mark Mastropietro

I find Harwell’s commitment to the Tigers and baseball motivating. I also appreciate the way he’s shared his enthusiasm for baseball with Detroiters. As an avid sports fan, music enthusiast and movie buff the Harwell collection is admirable.

I suggest you visit the collection. Take photos, and experience a piece of Detroit Tiger history. Here’s the link to the exhibit ErnieHarwellCollection  .

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