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Remembering Ernie Harwell: The Ems Connection
05/05/2010 1:57 PM ET
EUGENE, OR -Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell died Tuesday after a months-long battle with cancer. He was 92. Best known as the Detroit Tigers' broadcaster for over 40 years, Harwell's death comes with great sadness to the world of professional baseball-and the Eugene Emeralds are remembering the legendary announcer through their own unique connections with the famed man.

Vin Scully, Hall of Fame Dodgers Broadcaster tells the story seamlessly in a recent ESPN.com article:

"Ernie Harwell, I don't know if any of you know it, set a record before he ever came to the major leagues. In 1948, the Brooklyn Dodgers were in Pittsburgh. It was an off-day, and Red Barber was playing golf at the Pittsburgh Field Club. He was at a place on the golf course what was close to the clubhouse, and he felt very nauseous. He was wearing a coconut straw hat. He took it off and ran into the clubhouse and upchucked, only blood. He had a bleeding ulcer, so they flew him to New York immediately. Branch Rickey was running the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time. Arthur Mann was running the Atlanta Crackers. Branch called Arthur, because they knew each other very well, and he said, 'I need your announcer.' And Arthur said, 'Well, I need a catcher.' So [Cliff] Dapper was sent to Atlanta, and Ernie Harwell came to Brooklyn. It was the only trade that ever involved an announcer."

So where do the Eugene Emeralds come in?

The second guy in that famous trade, Cliff Dapper, played for the Eugene Larks in 1951 and managed and played for the Emeralds in 1955-56. He managed the Ems to the inaugural Northwest League Championship in 1955. . For the Emeralds in 1955, Dapper (at age 36!) hit .300 with 9 homers in 101 games.

What a small world.

The Eugene Emeralds, along with the rest of professional baseball, will continue to remember the distinguished Ernie Harwell.

To read the rest of ESPN.com's article "Harwell Dies after Cancer Battle" including additional comments by Vin Scully, click here.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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