During last night’s broacasting, Vin Scully was telling us a little story about Ernie Harwell. Vin said that back in 1948, when Red Barber was rushed to the hospital. Connie Desmond took over.
Branch Rickey, the renowened executive who ran the Brooklyn Dodgers called Atlanta Crackers President Earl Mann that he needed an announcer. Mann in turn told him “I need a catcher.” So to get Harwell’s services, Rickey 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.
Harwell was the No. 3 announcer on the Dodgers’ broadcasts. After he spent a year in that role in 1949, he became the No. 2 announcer with the crosstown New York Giants. To replace Harwell, the Dodgers hired a young announcer recently out of Fordham University, Vin Scully.
Rest in peace Ernie Harwell.