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Some Athletes Have The Eye Of The Tiger, But Ernie Harwell Was The Voice

DON GONYEA, HOST:

It is baseball season. The first of this year's Grapefruit and Cactus League exhibition games in Florida and Arizona were held yesterday. For decades, for fans of the Detroit Tigers - and count me as one - the new season began with a moment of lovely scripture, courtesy of the late Tigers' radio play-by-play man Ernie Harwell. Every year at this time, Ernie would open his mic for the first pitch of the first game of spring training recite this passage:

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)

GONYEA: That's Detroit's Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who passed away almost three years ago at age 92. The lines are from the Song of Solomon. So, baseball fans, spring is here. A moment to pause, to take it all in and play ball. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.