Prominent person in the Detroit entourage next...


June 24, 1991

THE MOST prominent person in the Detroit entourage next week as the Tigers arrive at Memorial Stadium will be no team member; rather, it's their famed broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. The front office has notified Harwell this is his final season. He is 73 years old; they want somebody younger. The ensuing rowdydow is a dandy.

If fault could be found with Harwell's on-air performance, if he were fumbling player names or mangling sentences, then a pleasant retirement would be quick and proper. But Ernie's delivery, by all accounts, remains as smooth, balanced and knowledgeable as ever. (Baltimoreans who go back to the 1950s remember him favorably -- Ernie did play-by-play for the Orioles before going to Detroit.) Broadcasters rank him one of baseball's finest.

The zillion-member American Association of Retired Persons has now jumped in, lambasting Ernie's employers. More than that -- the last scheduled Ernie Harwell game is Sunday, Oct. 6, in Baltimore, the same Orioles-Tigers game that closes out Memorial Stadium.

One way out might be for some franchise, whose announcers call errors "airs" and inject sarcasm and mention everything except the score, to make Ernie Harwell an offer.

* * *

THAT VICTORY parade in New York was more than a chance for the soldiers to be soldiers and proud of it.

It was a moment for New York to be New York again, and proud of it; to be what it was at the end of World War I and World War II, when the fleet docked and all the schools for miles around excused absences of any pupil who claimed to have gone to see it, when Times Square was full of celebrators on any occasion genuinely warranting it, and none would make them afraid.

Parades are wonderful, but parades end. Comes a morning after, when the discharged soldiers must find jobs, and a nation to prove itself grateful must provide them; and when New York must live with itself again. It is on the streets of New York when there is no parade that New York must win its battles, and become New York in full glory in its own eyes once again.

* * *

WHILE INQUIRING into the aspersions cast upon English manhood by France's new Prime Minister Edith Cresson, our London correspondent conversed with a 33-year-old secretary experienced in both the French and British approaches to romance.

The lady, who is now happily married and expecting her first child, said it took her British husband three years to propose but a Frenchman offered to marry her within two hours of their meeting on a bus from Scotland. "He proposed across the aisle, but we never made it down the aisle. If British men are less romantic, they are certainly more reliable," she declared.

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