FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 09, 2017
Ernie Harwell, Brooklyn Dodgers and Detroit Tigers broadcaster, has stadium named in his honor
VERO BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2017) - Before Vin Scully served as the third man in the Dodger broadcast booth, Ernie Harwell had the seat for the 1948 and 1949 seasons. A couple of weeks ago, Wayne State University, MI paid tribute to Harwell, who later served as the longtime voice of the Detroit Tigers, by naming their baseball field, “Harwell Field”. Harwell was at Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida for Spring Training in 1949.
Tiger greats Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell participated in grand opening ceremonies. One of the field’s unique characteristics is a replica of the Ebbets Field, Brooklyn rotunda. That entryway to the Ebbets Field was a gathering point for fans, complete with a baseball chandelier, shiny marble columns and a beautiful tile floor with a large baseball and the words “Ebbets Field” on it.
Harwell Field just completed its first phase with private funding and eventually will add a press box, museum and grandstands. The outside of Harwell Field replicates the facade of Ebbets Field, Harwell’s first major league home. Harwell Field signage mirrors Ebbets Field with 24-inch letters.
In 1943 and 1948 (interrupted by service to the U.S. Marine Corps for four years), Harwell was the voice of the minor league Atlanta Crackers. In a 1948 move that made baseball history, Harwell was the only announcer ever traded, when the Dodgers sent catcher Cliff Dapper to the Crackers in exchange for Harwell’s contract. The Dodgers were in need of an extra broadcaster because number one announcer Red Barber had been hospitalized.
Dodger hero and current Tigers’ TV analyst Gibson said at the field opening, “Regardless of what was going on, his (Harwell’s) voice was just very calming. He mentored many people, like myself. And to have this up here in honor of Ernie is why I’m here. He continues to inspire me and anyone who ever knew him.”
Following his Dodger days, Harwell served as a broadcaster for the New York Giants (1950-1953), Baltimore Orioles (1954-1959), Detroit Tigers (1960-1991), California Angels (1992) and Tigers again (1993-2002). He was named winner of the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Link to Detroit Free Press article: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2017/04/18/ernie-harwell-field-wayne-state-baseballl/100618144/
About Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida
“A Florida Heritage Landmark”
World-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida is a multi-sport, 80-acre complex on Florida’s Treasure Coast managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley in a partnership since 2012. O’Malley, whose family developed and expanded the site formerly known as “Dodgertown” for nearly 50 years, partnered with his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.
On November 10, 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named a Florida Heritage Landmark for its unique historic significance extending beyond baseball, as the first completely integrated Spring Training site in the South. The “Baseball and Dodgertown” historical marker is located at the entrance to the conference center.
The home of Dodger Spring Trainings from 1948-2008, it was the starting place for six World Championships and 14 N.L. Pennant-winning teams. Numerous Baseball Hall of Fame players trained on these hallowed grounds, as well as 20 visits from professional teams in Asia.
The all-inclusive facility, owned by Indian River County, gives teams of all ages the unique opportunity to train, play, dine and stay together in on-site villas. Participants utilize one of 10 ½ playing fields (seven are Musco-lighted for night games), including a new cloverleaf of youth baseball/softball fields with concessions area and new multi-purpose field (110 by 130 yards) for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Other amenities include clubhouses, two full-sized weight rooms, dining room, Stadium Club lounge and a competition-size swimming pool. The home of 6,500-seat Holman Stadium, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida provides an all-encompassing experience for guests and is the ideal setting to build a championship team. It’s the perfect location for tournaments, camps, schools, business conferences and seminars.
Continuing its tradition since 1983, the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp returned to Historic Dodgertown in November, 2014. Visit historicdodgertown.com for more information.
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532