Share your George Kell memories

I saw Rich's post from the previous entry a little bit ago, and it reminded me that this would be a good place to give readers a chance to share their memories of George Kell's career, both as a player and a broadcaster. I didn't get to listen to him until the tail end of his career, but I definitely remember how Kell and Al Kaline had this style unlike anyone else you'd find. Plus, well, you had two Hall of Fame players talking about the game in the same broadcast booth, yet they never made the broadcast about them.


Growing up (I’m 46) I didn’t think anything of it, but we were so fortunate to have Ernie Harwell (and Paul Carey) on the radio and George Kell (and later Al) on the TV. I don’t remember the simulcasts you mentioned, Rich, but I’m sure I heard them.
I was saddened by the news, and my heart certainly goes out to everyone who he touched. To second Rich’s comment, it was always “Lookout!” that I remember from the broadcasts. In fact it’s the first thing I think of every time a foul ball comes into the stands to this day.
I’m not a big numbers guy, but .343 with 13 strikeouts? Wow.

I didn’t know the extent of Kell’s baseball career, either. Amazing.

I’m 42 and grew up watching Kell and Kaline from around 1976 through 84. Kell had a great voice and I appreciate his style a lot. Broadcasters seem different these days.

When I try remembering particular games two come to mind: (1) the disco demolition at the old Comiskey Park, maybe in ’79, and (2) Milt Wilcox’s near perfect game (maybe 1982). I still remember Kaline jinxing Wilcox in the 9th inning by talking about some old memory of his, right before Hairston? lined a single to center.

It has been a long time but I can still easily recall the voices of Kell, Kaline, Ernie, and Paul. George Kell, here’s to you!!

I thought it was only right to move Rich’s post here:

A fond farewell to old friend George Kell. He’s probably remembered by “younger” fans mostly for his TV work up until 1996, but there were a few golden years in the 60s when some of us had the pleasure of listening to George and Ernie together. They simulcast TV and radio, with each doing half the game on one or the other medium. As great as Ernie is, George was about as good. In fact, I’d hate to have to live on the difference.
In a day and age when announcers deliberately choose signature calls, Kell’s natural style beats them all. Does anyone remember:
“He might be gonna make a pitching change.”
“There’s a LONG belt!”
And the best of all, “Good afternoon everyone. George Kell along with Ernie Harwell…………..”
RIP George Kell.

By rich6 on March 24, 2009 2:21 PM
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I dont have any specific George Kell memories, I just remember the hundreds of games I watched when it was him and Kaline. I am only 30, but they were there during the days when I grew to love baseball! When I think of broadcasters in baseball, they were the best!! Not that I dont enjoy Rod and Super Mario, but it is just not the same. I posted last summer about how heartbroken I was when I went by the old park, and how much it made me remember to just love the game of baseball and the Tigers. This is another very sobering day, and that just it comes to loving the game!!! So with that my thoughts are with the Kell family. And to George Kell, a thank you for being there when I learned to love the great game of baseball!! Rest In Peace Mr. Kell!! -Stacy GO TIGERS!!!!

And Rich, thanks for the comment!! Fans like you are what baseball is all about!!!

Thanks for moving my post, Tracy.
I’ll tell ya, I was so taken with these guys as a child, we had one of those career day things at school, and I delivered a report on being a baseball announcer. 🙂 The good ones realize they’re having that effect on their listeners.

Thank you, Stacy. I appreciate that.

I am 53. I remember the Tigers from the end of ’67. There was no finer announcer than George, including Ernie. George’s style made you want to be there. He made every other announcer better. I was so glad that he made it back to close Tiger stadium. RIP George. Mark

George Kell was one of those voices that was a part of my childhood- back when there were only 5 or 6 TV channels to choose from, so if the Tigers were on TV, that’s what was on in the house, no matter what else was going on.

I certainly didn’t appreciate him for all he was worth back then- I was just a kid. But he, like Ernie Harwell created the backdrop of summer for me. I agree we are super lucky to have Rod and Mario….I hope my kids remember them and baseball season with the same joy I that I remember George. God Bless his family.


Two great memories of summer: mowing the backyard grass with an old push mower while listening to a neighbor’s radio loudly broadcasting Ernie Harwell’s play-by-play of a Tiger game and drinking lemonade while watching the Tigers on TV and listening to George Kell and Al Kaline. Wish I could pass on those memories to my grandson! Us Tiger fans have been so fortunate (and blessed) to have had two wonderful broadcasters in Ernie Harwell and George Kell – and what wonderful Southern accents!

By the way, in regards to a previous post, Milt Wilcox’s near-perfect game was in 1983 and Jerry Hairston was pinch-hitting in the ninth when he broke up the perfect game. I was there at Comiskey with my girl friend at the time – what excitement and what a letdown!

A truly sad day for Tiger fans, especially the older ones.
George Kell was gentleman and a baseball schlolar with a friendly voice that resonated with the summer air. He was part of our childhood and a friendly voice who brought the exploits of guys like Reno Bertoia, Hank Aguirre, John Hiller, Paw Paw Maxwell and Rocky Colavito etc etc. to life for us.
As fine an announcer as he was he was even more a remarkable ball player in his day. He was a role model for many, and a genuine American hero. I can only imagine Harey Carey and Jack Brickhouse announcing his passing thru the pearly gates while sliding “safely”…..HOME.
Thanks for the memories, Mr Kell.

As a 46 year old transplanted Michigander in Florida,the sad day of the passing of Mr.Kell only makes me realize again,how much we remember and cherish about some people in life that we sometimes don’t appreciate until they are gone. George and Ernie made me a Tiger fan for life and gave me so many great memories as a kid,gifts that can never be repaid. As soon as I read some of the posts and Kell’s quips,it all came back to life and made me realize what so great about this game of baseball. I now get to watch close to all Tiger games on Directv which I thought was the best,but yesterday made we re-examine whether this was so great,because my son can not appreciate somebody on the radio bringing a game to life,and wanting to be at the game worse than anything else in the world. Thank you George Kell for being such a professional at your job,you definitely made life far more fun for me as a child growing up and made me the Tiger fan I am today.
Good afternoon everyone,Mr.Kell is now in baseball heaven!

George Kell was a keeper, how fortunate for baseball fans to have had him leading us through the game. Not many can match some of the magic created by the announcers of old – not that I am dogging the current guys, I love them all too, but something more special back in those days when the games were televised much less than now and the radio transmissions meant so much more of allowing us to “see” the game, and George did a great job of that.

uh oh.. what happened to everett on his leadoff double jason?

… another thing.. how do all of the WBC players get away with not making the trip for this game?

As it turns out, there are a number of WBC guys who are just now getting into action with their MLB clubs. Strangely enough, some of the injured WBC players actually got back into ST action earlier as a result. The hitting session with McClendon was probably a good idea. Meanwhile, the youngsters had their hitting shoes on today.
I saw Everett turn his ankle over on that slide into second. Amazes me, the poor sliding techniques MLB player display. I’m more interested in the outcome of Robertson’s hand, or thumb, or whatever it is. I’m not sure that Kelly should have got back to the bag after throwing to second or not, but that’s where Nate took the throw off his pitching hand. Kelly doesn’t have firstbase fundamentals down, but I seem to remember that’s not his regular position? Bad luck for Nate, who was on the verge of pitching out of that inning.
Williamson probably pitched his way off the team, if he was ever on it to start with. He looked pretty down coming off the mound. It’s a hard business.

It was a dangerous day in Port St. Lucy for our guys. Two go down. Watched the game and I agree Williamson pitched his way off the team, he really hasn’t had it all spring. I think that Rincon is in, and I really think that Perry should be in but I doubt he will. Miner after the first inning was pretty good, at first it didn’t look like he was fooling anyone.

I to thought that some of the regulars besides Polanco and Everett, meaning those who haven’t been there for nearly a month should of been the ones to be with the team. I think actually it is bit premaddona. Your owner is trying to sell tickets, and although they were able to win this one, it has overall been a poor spring. And with no excitement coming out of spring training they are practically giving away tickets. Although I paid full price for mine because I would go no matter what.

Cabs sure looked rusty against Korea as if he had never played first before. Todays old fashioned batting and field coaching wont go astray.

How did Clete Thomas’ arm look yesterday? What was the deal with the throwing error?

I too was a George Kell fan. In fact I recall the days of George Kell and Larry Osterman back in the 1960’s. I was 10 when the Tigers won the ’68 series. 1967/68/69 were tough Summers in Detroit with the race riots. I lived in Melvindale at the time and I can remember like it was yesterday riding my bike through the nighborhoods and following the game on the radios that were blaring from each of the yards as folks were out washing cars, mowing lawns or just sitting on porches. It somehow provided some calm admidst all the other problems Detroit was having then.

I’m not usually too much for nostalgia, but baseball is built for the radio and not the TV. I think ball games should be heard while you are cleaning out the garage or doing some minor work around the house. You would stop only when you would hear George get a little excited about something that Kaline just did or maybe if Willie had hit one out. So, George and a few others still are a last of the breed. Great radio announcers. Here in LA I can still here Vin, but the younger set really don’t appreciate him as much as they should. Thanks for everything George. It’s not too often that a man can be a legend in too things that he did.

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