2011 Legacy Inductee
1918 - 2010
William Earnest Harwell was in Washington, Georgia in 1918. His father ran a furniture store which failed and the family moved to Atlanta. Young Ernie Harwell had a speech impediment. He corrected it by taking weekly lessons. An avid baseball fan from an early age; he became visiting batboy for the Atlanta Crackers at the tender age of five. At sixteen he began working as a regional correspondent for The Sporting News. While attending Emory University Harwell got his first broadcasting job in 1940 as the lone sportscaster for WSB, delivering 15-minute reports twice a night. "All the time I was at WSB, I dreamed of doing baseball play-by-play," Harwell wrote. "That was my first love." In 1942 Ernie joined the Marines and served four years in the United States Marine Corps. In 1946, he began announcing games for the Crackers on WSB radio. In 1948, he was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers. To get Harwell's services, The Dodgers traded minor league catcher Cliff Dapper to Atlanta. Thus, thanks to perhaps the only broadcaster-player trade in baseball history, Ernie Harwell broke into the majors as a broadcaster in August 1948 with the Dodgers. In 1949 he became the No. 2 announcer with the cross town New York Giants. Harwell spent four seasons with the Giants, then, after the 1953 season, was sacked without explanation. For the next season, he found work when the bedraggled St. Louis Browns of the American League moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. Harwell became one of the team's inaugural announcers. In 1960, Harwell became the "voice" of the Detroit Tigers. During his long career, he broadcast The Masters golf tournament, as well as pro and college football. Harwell was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Georgia Radio Hall Of Fame is a Georgia non profit corporation and a 501 (c) (3) organization.
© Georgia Radio Hall Of Fame Corporation, 2011