Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Voice of the Twins passes on.

Herb Carneal

This picture of long-time Minnesota Twins announcer Herb Carneal was on the front of a postcard he sent to me in 1993. So as a fan of the Twins since 1978, I was saddened to learn of Carneal’s passing today due to congestive heart failure. He was 83.

Almost 14 years ago Herb was away from the Twins for a while due to having a heart valve replaced. I wrote him a get-well letter. Also in that letter I shared some anecdotes from my days as a youthful Twins fan. I told him how I used to fall asleep to the radio broadcasts when the Twins were on the West Coast. Yes, there were many nights as an elementary school-aged kid where the last thing I heard before falling asleep was the sound of Herb’s voice. Upon his recovery from his 1993 heart procedure, Herb said he was so overwhelmed by the fans’ response that he took time to write some personal replies.

Pictured below is one which I received.

In the 46 seasons the Twins have been in existence, Herb has been the voice of the club the past 45. When it comes to the phrase “Twins Baseball”, very few names are more synonymous with the organization than the name Herb Carneal.

Not only was Herb a legend in the Upper Midwest region, he was nationally recognized as one of the premier play-by-play announcers. In 1996 he received the prestigious Ford C. Frick award, which is an award presented annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball.”

For most Twins fans, we will miss his warm, folksy greeting of “Hi, Everybody” as he began each and every broadcast.

Whether or not we knew Herb Carneal personally, I would venture a guess that many of the Twins faithful feel like we’ve lost a dear friend.


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