Harwell

PHILADELPHIA — The loss of legendary Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell Tuesday touched the lives of many people across the country, and athletes across many different sports.

Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick grew up in Detroit as a Tigers fan, and even though he wasn’t born the last time the Tigers won the World Series in 1984, he spent many a summer day or night listening to Harwell call his hometown team’s game.

“It’s always sad to see a voice you grew up hearing [pass away],” said Hunwick after the Bruins’ morning skate today at Wachovia Center. You always remember, especially when you’re young, you remember those voices.

“I just remember his call, ‘It’s lo-000-ng gone.’ It was something you’d always remember as far as listening to games, what you’d see on video and audio highlights.”

Hunwick gave up playing baseball in junior high to focus on what has become a lucrative hockey career. But he has plenty of fond ballpark memories.

“I used to go to the games at the old Tiger Stadium. It was a pretty neat venue. It wasn’t something that was as big as hockey in our house. Hockey was always No. 1,” he said.

Maybe if Hunwick helps the Bruins get a 3-0 lead tonight in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia, he can declare the Flyers are “lo-ooo-ng gone.”