Ernie Harwell, the Dodgers and a trade.

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. 



  1. crzblue2

    I had heard the story before but not from Ernie. I really should sign up for the MLB audio again even though I can no longer use it at work.

  2. crzblue2

    Vin had this to say about Ernie:
    “He was so gracious and kind. Probably the best word: He was gentle,” Scully said. “And it came across. He just cared for people. He loved baseball.”

  3. devilabrit

    He will be missed by many thats for sure, the Phillies commentator told a story last night of how Ernie showed him how to keep stats while calling balls and strikes…

    Phillies Outside

  4. raysrenegade

    Always thought that was one of the best trade ever for a non-playing memeber traded to another organization.
    Beats the heck out of the Rays Randy Winn to Seattle for Lou Piniella.
    Only got to hear Harwell once, but I always thought he had that twang of greatness you wish you could hear 162 games a year forever.
    I have to say it made me jealous my my father and grandfather who used to listen to his Tigers broadcasts every Spring from Lakeland,Florida.
    I truly hope someone develops a website that retains clips of some of these baseball legends we have lost the last 20 years.
    Amazing the quality of voice they have upstairs now, but I think Harry Kalas and Carey would share a mike with Harwell.

    Rays Renegade

  5. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I knew it but that is a great story!. He announced for the New York Giants also very briefly. I used to tune-in Ernie Harwell on the radio as a kid. Good Night Mr. Harwell
    mike BTB

  6. crzblue2

    Peter ,
    and now I just heard that Robin Roberts has gone to join Ernie. RIP.
    I feel like hearing one of those old games. Maybe I’ll get a chance this weekend. Oh wait, the Dodgers are still here this weekend.
    I have a friend that collects clips from the great broacasters.
    You are a very fortunate kid. Wish I listen back when I was a kid, but I did not speak English back then.

  7. angelsgirl012

    What a true gentleman 🙂

    It’s too bad that I couldn’t listen to him growing up as many did. He’s so loved by the Tigers’ community and it’s amazing to me how one person made such a great impact in his life. That’s wonderful. What a great life he lived! May he always rest in peace 🙂

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