We all knew it was coming, and we've likely never known anyone who was actually so ready for it, but death is always a shock no matter what.
The one time I met Ernie, I could tell that he was just as cool as we thought he was from listening to him on the radio (I miss the Tigers on WJR, and I'm not even a baseball fan); he was a genuinely nice, kind gentleman.
I do have one (continuing) regret related to Ernie. He had some kind of connection with our church, and every year as I started the planning for the Lenten Devotion book, I thought that I should send Ernie a letter and ask for a bit of devotional writing from him - but I never did. Now I never will.
Still, I know that Ernie is in Heaven (and I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean he's in an Iowa cornfield with a bunch of dead baseball players), and he's happy. No, happy wouldn't be the half of it - Joy is the serious business of Heaven, and Ernie was always good at Joy.
He'll be missed.
Oh, and it's time to add to the name at Comerica Park: Harwell Field at Comerica Park has a wonderful ring, don't you think?