"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." —Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV)
Detroit's long love affair with Hall of Fame baseball announcer Ernie Harwell has been widely documented. For more than 40 years, Tigers fans huddled around their radios and hung on Ernie's every word. From the 1968 World Series to the 1984 fall classic and beyond, Ernie's low-key delivery, his sweet Southern accent, and his conversational style endeared him to baseball fans across America.
For many, Ernie's death in 2010 left a void that can never be filled. And while Comerica Park has done an exceptional job in honoring his legacy, it only seems fitting to pay homage to Ernie at the site he held so dear — the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. After the final game there in 1999, Ernie's heartfelt eulogy to Tiger Stadium was forever emblazoned on our minds.
Although the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy fought tirelessly to save Tiger Stadium, Ernie's beloved ballpark could not escape the wrecking ball. On September 21, 2009, the original Navin Field configuration was finally demolished.
Today, the only remnant of the stadium is its historic center-field flagpole. And while the future of "The Corner" remains uncertain, your support of the Voice of Summer Memorial will allow for a lasting Ernie Harwell sculpture at the site of Historic Tiger Stadium.
So, please, donate today, and help honor the legacy of a truly historic Detroit partnership:
The Ernie Harwell memorial will be created by fine artist Gabriel Vinas, who has a proven track record of accurately and expressively representing the human form in varying scales.
View some of his work below.
Risks and challenges
One of our most daunting challenges might be resistance from city government. In the event that the City of Detroit discourages our installation at Historic Tiger Stadium, we will work with local businesses to ensure that the memorial finds a temporary home in Corktown.