One of baseball’s greatest broadcasters–and an almost saintly figure in Michigan–Ernie Harwell was also a collector. He saved virtually everything from his many years as a professional broadcaster. Newspapers, scorecards, programs, autographed baseballs he accumulated and other items that didn’t have anything to do with sports.
His papers and many other pieces of memorabilia were given to the Detroit Public Library. The rest has gone into some auctions held in the Detroit area including one on Saturday that brought dozens of fans and some collectors to the suburb of Farmington.
Harwell died of cancer in 2010 at age 92.
His son was there for the auction and so was 1968 AL Cy Young winner Denny McLain. According to the Free-Press, one the letters the two exchanged during one of McLain’s prison sentences was among the items up for bid.
The Detroit News offered a slideshow and another story.
And the Fox affiliate in Detroit had a live report including interviews with Bill Harwell and a fan–both of whom got a little emotional remembering the man.