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Detroit Tigers voice Ernie Harwell dies at 92

DETROIT (Reuters) - Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died on Tuesday after a year-long battle with cancer, the official Major League Baseball website (mlb.com) reported. He was 92.

Harwell, who spent 42 seasons calling Tigers games on radio and then on television before retiring from the broadcast booth in 2002, was voted the 1981 Ford Frick Award for contributions to baseball by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He had been scheduled to receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting in New York on Wednesday.

Harwell's 55-year career began in Atlanta in 1946 and two years later he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. After working for the New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles he found his home in Michigan.

Born on January 25, 1918, in Washington, Georgia, William Earnest Harwell grew up as an aspiring sportswriter and did freelance work for the Sporting News and later the Atlanta Constitution before turning his gentlemanly Southern voice to radio broadcasts for the minor league Atlanta Crackers.

He died in his apartment at Fox Run Village, a retirement community in Novi, Michigan, with Lulu, his wife of 68 years, at his side.

(Writing by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Rex Gowar)