A talented writer and accomplished lyricist and composer outside the broadcast booth, Harwell has been the immensely popular voice of the Tigers for almost three decades. In 1934, as a 16-year-old Georgia high school student, Harwell became The Sporting News‘s Atlanta correspondent. His work would eventually appear in Collier’s, Reader’s Digest, and The Saturday Evening Post, but he chose to make his living as a broadcaster.
Harwell was broadcasting for the Atlanta Crackers when his work caught the attention of Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, and Rickey traded minor league catcher Cliff Dapper to the Crackers to bring Harwell to Brooklyn in 1948. He later worked briefly with the Giants and Orioles before settling in Detroit in 1960. Harwell originally worked on both TV and radio, but after 1965 his endearing, friendly voice was heard exclusively on radio. His 1955 baseball essay, “A Game for All America,” is displayed in baseball’s Hall of Fame.