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Doc Emrick Picks His Spots

from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated,

Prior to his Game 5 broadcast, I sat down with Emrick at a New York City steakhouse. I told him I wanted to pass along some questions that I received for him on Twitter, including his relationship with the late, legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell. As a first-year doctoral student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1973, Emrick reached out to Harwell to be the de-facto adviser for his dissertation ("Major League Baseball Principal Play By Play Announcers: Their Occupation Background And Personal Life"). Harwell introduced Emrick to broadcasters and writers, hot dog vendors and ushers, and even procured a dugout interview for Emrick with Al Kaline. That linkage is very cool to think of today, paying it forward between the past and present.

Here's our conversation:

What was the best piece of advice Ernie Harwell gave you?

One of the questions I had for him was: "What makes for the greatest longevity?" He said you have to be able to ride with the tide. About the time I was asking him that, Billy Martin was the manager of the Tigers and with Billy there, I think Ernie had to ride with the tide with a lot of things. There were also a lot of life lessons from Ernie because he was a very devout human being. He used to say: "A man is lucky if God gives him a job he enjoys." He was right. Riding with the tide was something I always remembered. I had just come out of college and we were all sort of geared in communications to be on the edgy and belligerent side, and here was this man telling me if you really want to have a long career, you have to pick your spots.


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