Two weeks after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, broadcasting legend Ernie Harwell decided to make a brave step onto the field at Comerica Park and give his farewell address to the thousands of Tigers fans in attendance and the millions of fans at home. If you were watching the MLB Network at 8PM last night, you were lucky enough to witness Ernie's speech in full.
Always a class act, Harwell thanked the Tigers organization, thanked the Tigers fans, and thanked the entire state of Michigan, perhaps the first time someone's said something nice about Michigan since the French started trading fur with the Chippewa on the Detroit River.
The fans at Comerica welcomed Harwell for his farewell speech by interrupting him several times to clap and shout "Woo". Even Lou Gehrig's farewell speech was interrupted by "Woo". What instinct among human beings causes us to shout "Woo" anytime a public figure pauses during their oration? Can't we just let a man speechify without interruption?
There are about 20 different videos of the speech on YouTube and, believe it or not, that's the best quality version. Yes, even with the jackass wearing the Dontrelle Willis jersey leaning into the shot. If you would rather enjoy a crisp, clear, non-embeddable video, head on over to MLB.com. Maybe someday the ad wizards at MLBAM will learn how social media works and allow us to embed videos of legends giving their farewell speeches to stadiums full of teary-eyed Midwesterners!