ARLINGTON -- Rangers broadcaster Josh Lewin spent four years in Detroit, in 1998-2001, and became good friends with legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 92.
When I got to Detroit, the Tigers were just starting up on FOX Sports Detroit and I was a fresh-faced, snot-nosed, unpolished kid," Lewin said. "Ernie was the first person to reach out, get my number and call me up. He told me anything I needed just call him. I thought he was just being nice.
"But when I got to Spring Training, I got to the hotel and there was a message from Ernie. He invited me over to his condo so that Miss LuLu and him could cook me dinner. I went over there with my knees shaking, he was an idol of mine growing up. I thought I'd be over for maybe an hour, but I was over there for five hours. He didn't talk about himself at all, he asked about my dreams and aspirations. It was just a great gesture and made it easier for me in Detroit."
Harwell revealed last September that he was dealing with inoperable cancer, but that didn't keep him from staying in touch with friends like Lewin.
"About a month ago he called me up looking for a phone number and all he asked about was how my wife and kids were doing," Lewin said. "We were talking about me for 3-4 minutes and I said, 'Ernie we have this wrong, I'm supposed to be asking about you.' But he didn't want to talk about himself. He was more concerned about everything in Texas.
"He was one of the nicest, most gracious people I've ever met."