1989 – William Earnest “Ernie” Harwell
Born in Washington, Georgia, on January 25, 1918, sportscasting legend William Earnest “Ernie” Harwell was the play-by-play announcer for more than 8500 Major League games during his more than 50 year career. Harwell began his career as a part-time announcer for minor league team the Atlanta Crackers, before becoming their full-time announcer in 1946. Then midway through the 1948 season, the Brooklyn Dodgers traded the Crackers a minor league catcher for Harwell so he could fill in Red Barber. Harwell stayed with the Dodgers through the 1949 season and then moved to the New York Giants. While at the Giants, Harwell announced his first game on television. When the Dodgers did not renew his contract in 1954, Harwell moved to Baltimore where he announced Orioles games for six years. Then, in 1960, he landed with the Detroit Tigers. He would go on to broadcast games for the Tigers for 42 of the next 43 years, ending with his retirement in 2002. During his time announcing Tigers games, Harwell also announced three World Series and five All-Star games, and was named Michigan Sportscaster of the year 19 times. He was also the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, 1981, and has been inducted into a number of halls of fame for his outstanding career. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame on April 24, 1989. Harwell died May 4, 2010.