Text of Ernie's speech

Thank you, folks. Thank you very much. We don’t want to be penalized now for delay of the game. But I do want to express my feelings here.

It’s a wonderful night for me. I really feel lucky to be here, and I want to thank you for that warm welcome. I want to express my deep appreciation to Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers for that video salute and also for the many great things they’ve done for me and my family throughout my career here with the Tigers. In my almost 92 years on this Earth, the good Lord has blessed me with a great journey, and the blessed part of that journey is that it’s going to end here in the great state of Michigan.

I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan. I love their grit. I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have. And you Tiger fans are the greatest fans of all, no question about that. And I certainly want to thank you from the depth of my heart for your devotion, your support, your loyalty and your love. Thank you very much, and God bless you.


I missed it, silly phone call right when it started. Class act guy.

Been a Tiger fan for over 40 years. Summers for me growing up in Ohio meant listening to Tiger Baseball rather than watching it. I never felt gypped though, because when Ernie called the game, you could actually imagine it in your mind’s eye. Many late nights were spent with a radio to my ear trying to catch every pitch called by Ernie and Paul. I remember asking my dad how was it that Ernie knew where all those people were from that caught those foul balls? He just kinda chuckled and let me figure that one out for myself. I think I speak for all of us who love the Tigers, we wish Ernie well and we will always remember fondly those summer evenings that were always a “beautiful night for baseball” with Ernie at the mike.


ed – thanks for the reminder about knowing where people came from – I always thought the same thing too!

I moved down here from Michigan in 1999. The following summer, I discovered you could get live streams of selected ballgames on the internet. It was the Tigers that day so I ran my PC speakers out onto the deck, popped a cold one, and settled in to listen to Ernie. I remember the first foul ball was caught by a man from Owosso. Just hearing him rattle off the familiar names of the various small towns and locales in Michigan made my day. And, wouldn’t you know it, the game ended when the Oakland hitter stood there like the house by the side of the road and watched strike three go by. That was a good day.

I was at the game last night – the whole evening was great. Ernie was gracious as always and wound up making us feel better in the midst of his goodbye. What a class act. A lot of tears at the stadium last night. By the way Lyon was sick last night. He was the hero of that game.

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