Ernie Harwell thanks Tigers fans at Comerica Park

DETROIT – Ernie Harwell has said a goodbye of sorts to the Detroit Tigers' fans.

The long-time radio play-by-play man humbly waved to the crowd at Comerica Park on Wednesday night after thanking them for their "devotion, support, loyalty and love." Harwell was the voice of the Tigers for more than 40 years.

He spoke halfway through the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals.

Harwell drew loud ovations before and after he came to the batter's box to speak.

The 91-year-old Harwell recently was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the bile duct. He came to Detroit in 1960 and retired from the broadcast booth after the 2002 season.

The Tigers hope he can participate in a celebration of the 1984 championship team later this month.