Sunday, November 27, 2011


AP Student Recommendation:
My recommendation for the book “Tuned to Baseball” by Ernie Harwell, is if you love the game of baseball it’s a must read. Ernie Harwell is like a human history book of baseball, literally. He covers all the games owners, players, announcers, anything you can think of he covers. The downside to the book is that in a few of the chapters they sort of of drag on , but they also provided a lot of information, but it’s a must read!

Book Summary

Book Summary:
“I love what I do. If I had my time over again, I’d probably do it for nothing.” That’s what Ernie Harwell was about, he never once did it for the money, he did for the fans, simple as that. In the book “Tuned to Baseball”, Ernie puts his thirty-seven year journey into two hundred-twenty pages starting from when he was a sixteen year old boy in Georgia applying for a journalist spot at “The Sporting News”, to being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Going through the game’s best and the worst memories of dealing with the team owner’s best and worst managers, the game’s best moments and greatest players, the creation of “booing” the ump, to the life behind just the games, his biggest mistakes, the creation of team bible studies, believing in miracles. “Baseball came as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes.” That’s how Ernie seen baseball, not as just as a sport but much more. He saw it as tradition, almost as a religion to some players.  How a team was a brotherhood a family, together they would succeed or fail, but in the end that they’d all still be a team, from the owners down to the die-hard fans that never would give up on their team even in there darkest days. This to Ernie Harwell was baseball, and he wouldn’t of had it any other way.

Best Chapter

Chapter 15 (Signing Off) – This is by far the best chapter even though it is just his induction speech. But the reason I would choose this as the best chapter is because this is where Ernie Harwell puts the life of baseball all into perspective. How every accomplishment or mistake that was made, lead to his fun career as an announcer. Or the players, mangers, owners, and other announcer lead to the ride of a lifetime for him and his family.

Best Page of "Tuned to Baseball"

Page 220-221: He describes baseball not as a sport but as a life, as what it is, what it is to fans and the radio listeners. How it’s the sad voice of Lou Gehrig “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Baseball is what you did to learn it as a kid.

Significant events

Started his first job at the age of sixteen for a newspaper called “The Sporting News”, making only a dollar a day in 1934: This was the starting point of his long career, here he was able to get noticed and under a fake name, he built a strong reputation for his writing styles.

Sports Director for WSB Atlanta in 1940: In this part of his life he built his reputation, under his real name; announcing. Known for his soft voice and interesting comments he made daily.

Sent overseas during his career as announcer in 1942: Here in Ernies life he wasn't sure what would happen in the four years he would be gone, but before he left he was ensured a job when he returned at Ponce De Leon Park in Atlanta.

For being a writer he was not sent to battle and stated in North Carolina: While spending his final days in America Before sent to battle in World War II, Ernie would be told a day before leaving that he would be able to stay on base in America to write letters for the general.

Broad casted the first "coast to coast" game in baseball history: Ernie was able from San Francisco, announce the game all the way back to New York, so all fans could hear the game. Major break through in Baseball history.
First announcer for the Baltimore Orioles in 1954: This was actually the fifth team he announced for on his long journeys. With new organization, this was Ernies last stop before Detroit.

His job being saved by a Chinese Take-Out Waiter in Baltimore: Around Baltimore, a petition was being sent around to keep Ernie Harwell in Baltimore, while at lunch at a Chinese take-out, the waiter ask the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, if he would sign a petition to keep Ernie, just as he was about to fire him.

Getting the $10,000 raise to save his sons house: He son needed $10,000 to pay for college and housing at the University of California, well Ernie told him he did not have the money and he would have to get a job, but the day he returned to Detroit, Ernie received a $10,000 increase in pay, saving his son.

Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame August 2nd, 1981: Although he was still in the middle of his career, he was inducted, for all the major league teams he had already worked for and he dedication to the team and the sport.

Works for 6 major league baseball teams (Tigers, Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers, Angles, and Giants): Two words the can describe this is " major accomplishment". Not many have the privilege of working for so many organizations and being loved by them all.

Home away from home

Tiger Stadium- This is where Ernie spent almost of his announcing career, while in Detroit he met all the greats, from Sparky Anderson as a manager, to players like Mark Fidrych, Bill Frehand, Al Kaline, Mickey Lolich, and Alan Trammell. He called it his second home, at the corner of Michigan and Trumbell.

Ponce De Leon Field- This is where Ernie started his very long career in announcing, this was home to the Atlanta Crackers. Here he formed a bond with the owner, and made a name for himself using his unforgettable voice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Important people in the book

Lulu Harwell-She was that sweet old lady that everyone loved to see, she was the backbone of her husband. In his worst times when he thought announcing wasn’t for him, she was there to make sure he would make the smart decision, she never once didn’t support him and his career, she was the perfect wife to him.
Fans- They are a group of there, if you had to describe an average fan, picture the guy with a radio in his hand, hot dog in the other, and bag of peanuts in his lap, and rooting on his team, that’s a fan at its finest. To Ernie they were his favorite people, they saved his job by starting a petition to save his job in Baltimore and in Detroit when under new ownership, knew that Ernie was the voice of the Tigers.

"Tuned to Baseball"- Ernie Harwell

Tuned to Baseball: This relates to the book by that Ernie describes that baseball is Americas past, and that’s how life was that people listened to it on the radio or watched it on the television, it was like a way of life for people seven months out of the year.

Biography: Ernie Harwell

Ernie Harwell: Ernie Harwell was born on January 25th 1918 in Washington, Georgia.  Already by the age of sixteen was working for a paper called “The Sporting News” in Atlanta, Georgia, from this he would later become a sports director for a station called WSB until 1942, when he would be sent to Parris Island, South Carolina for Marine boot camp to prepare to be sent overseas until 1946. From the late 1940’s through 2002, when he retired from the baseball world, Ernie would announce for seven baseball organizations around the country. He was known for his great voice through radio and television mostly by Detroiters but also in the many other places he announced. Sadly he would die at the age of 92 to cancer.

MLA Documentation

Harwell, Ernie. Tuned To Baseball. 1st. 1. South Bend, Indiana: Diamond Communications, INC., 1985.