Dark Days for Ernie Harwell's Baseball Collection

Dark Days for Ernie Harwell’s Baseball Collection

Famed broadcaster Ernie Harwell accumulated amazing sports collectibles and mementos over his lifetime. When he gifted them to the Detroit Public Library, he hoped they could be enjoyed by many. Even after his death, they are not being given the reverence they deserve. The collection, with an estimated value of $4 million, should be prominently displayed but the library has done to little to honor the extensive collection or the man who gave them.

The recent layoff of the main caretaker for the collection further complicates a situation where poor organization and limited resources are squandering a bundle of historic items. Theft has also been an issue for the collection. An employee was fired four years ago for stealing cards. Although cards were returned when the theft was discovered, there is no way to be certain if all the cards made there way back to the library due to a limited database.

The collection includes many baseball cards, at least 13,000 photographs, 100,000 newspaper clippings and years of team correspondence. Specific items include four Tiger Stadium seats and microphones from Harwell's days with the Tigers. There is no way of knowing exactly what the collection holds because there is no process in place for the items that sit mostly boxed in a back storage room.

In 2004, "The Lulu and Ernie Harwell Display Room" was opened as a permanent exhibit to house the collection. Sadly, the room only contains about ten percent of the collection and the lights remain off most days. After the thefts, access was restricted and the appointment-only exhibit had just 500 visitors in 2010.

Ernie Harwell was a beloved broadcaster and the voice of several teams throughout baseball. Although mainly remembered for his years with the Detroit Tigers, Harwell also spent time as the announcer for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Baltimore Orioles and California Angels.

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ERNIE HARWELL Detroit Tigers signed autograph TV Guide
$29.00
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ERNIE HARWELL AUTOGRAPHED INDEX CARD entered hof in 1981
$9.00
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ERNIE HARWELL Official Detroit Tigers Bobblehead 2002
$75.00
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ERNIE HARWELL Signed 8x10 Photo Detroit Tigers HOF Announcer - At Microphone GAI
$95.00
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ERNIE HARWELL HAND SIGNED COLOR 8X10 PHOTO PSA DNA COA
$106.25
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ERNIE HARWELL SIGNED HALL OF FAME LOGO BASEBALL DETROIT TIGERS FORD C FRICK
$95.00
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Michigan & Trumbull VHS + CD - Ernie Harwell - NEW SEALED - Tiger Stadium
$12.99
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Ernie Harwell autographed Baseball
$169.00



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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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