“This is George Kell, along with Ernie Harwell...”

That's how I remember George Kell signing on and signing off when he would broadcast Tiger games with Ernie. Sometimes I couldn't tell them apart - they both had that "sound" - like a southern drawl (George was from Arkansas, Ernie from Georgia).

Born on August 23, 1922, George had quite the baseball career before signing on as a play-by-play announcer for the Tigers:
Philadelphia Athletics (1943–1946)
Detroit Tigers (1946–1952)
Boston Red Sox (1952–1954)
Chicago White Sox (1954–1956)
Baltimore Orioles (1956–1957)

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

After his stint with the Orioles, that was enough. In 1958 he started broadcasting sports for CBS and in 1959 he was hired by the Detroit Tigers to be a commentator. His partner at the time was Van Patrick, who was later replace by Ernie Harwell.

He quit in 1963, wanting to spend more time at his home in Arkansas...but by 1965 he was coaxed back. Kell began exclusively doing the commentating for TV while Ernie did radio. Various times, George would be teamed up with Ray Lane, Larry Osterman, and eventually Al Kaline in 1975. Even so, his days partnered with Ernie Harwell are the ones sports fans are most fond of.

After his wife passed away in 1991, George continued on until 1996, and then that was it. George retired.

50 triples
51 stolen bases
78 homers
.306 batting average
385 doubles
870 runs batted in
881 runs scored
.971 fielding percentage
1,795 games
2054 hits

On March 24, 2009, George Kell passed away in his sleep at his home in Swifton, Arkansas. He was 86.

George Kell: Former Detroit Tiger & Broadcaster


Charlie Gehringer, Detroit Tiger From Fowlerville

Ron LeFlore: Detroit Tiger, 1974-1979

The Detroit Tiger You Never Heard Of: Slicker Parks

More From 99.1 WFMK