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RIP Merle Harmon

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by BadgerBeer, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member


    MILWAUKEE – On behalf of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, broadcaster Bob Uecker issued the following statement today on the passing of Merle Harmon:

    “Merle was a great friend and a wonderful partner in the booth, and the memories he leaves us with will be cherished forever. His dedication to family and broadcasting were second to none, and I will always be grateful for the latitude and direction he gave to me as I was entering the profession. My heart goes out to his family, and I speak for everyone at the Brewers in saying that this is a very sad day for all of us.”

    Harmon, whose career in sports broadcasting spanned 45 years, served as a broadcaster for the franchise from 1970-79. He passed away this afternoon at Arlington (Arlington, Texas) Memorial Hospital at the age of 82.

    Merle was always a great guy when I had opportunities to talk. Another great voice from my youth is gone.
  2. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Aww, shit, that sucks. A major part of my youth.

    My friends and I still repeat some old Bob and Merle bits.

    "Hey, Merle buddy, how about some Johnsonville brats?"

    On a side note, I just chatted with his son Keith the other day. I hope the funeral is nearby.
  3. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Merle was the radio voice of the Jets back in the 1960s "Live from the Big Shea!"

  4. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Isn't Mark Harmon (NCIS) his son?
  5. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    No. Mark Harmon is the son of Tom Harmon, Heisman Trophy winner and former Ram then a longtime sportscaster.
  6. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Damn, damn, damn.

    Along with Uecker, he's the voice of my first Brewers memories. My family moved to Texas in the early 80s ... and he moved right with us, becoming the Rangers' TV voice for many years after a short stint at NBC.

    Merle got a lot of my money too. He had a midwestern franchise of sports apparel places in the 80s and 90s ... Merle Harmon's Fan Fare.

    I still have about 50 pennants or so I bought from the original location at Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee, among many other things I bought there.

    It was probably my favorite store of all-time ... waaay ahead of its time as far as the level of product and the amount of teams they carried.

    Big RIP to Merle.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Merle left the Brewers after the 1979 season because he had signed on to be one of NBC's announcers at the 1980 Summer Games. It was the first time in my lifetime that ABC hadn't had the Olympics.

    The Brewers wouldn't allow Merle the month away in the heart of a baseball season, and he couldn't pass up working the Olympics. Then, the US boycotted the games. Just an awful confluence of happenings.

    Meanwhile, Brewers fans were then subjected to the awful Lorn Brown and then the even-worse Duane Mosely before Pat Hughes arrived in 1984.

    Merle was definitely missed.
  8. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Didn't Uecker despise Lorne Brown?
  9. Trouser_Buddah

    Trouser_Buddah Active Member

    On the Kalas thread I said that the day Uecker signed off for the last time would be an incredibly rough one around these parts.

    This isn't any easier.

    RIP Merle.

    And yes, Merle Harmon's Fan Fare was a favorite stop during my trips to Milwaukee as a youth...
  10. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised. He didn't last very long anywhere.

    Check out this Jimmy Piersall quote from the days in the booth with the White Sox.

  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You're kidding, right?
  12. Jack_Kerouac

    Jack_Kerouac Member

    The vast majority of my allowance as a kid went to the same store, Bubbler. And I'm talking the old one, back when there was still an ice rink in the middle and it was located at the west end of the mall. Loved that place.
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