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Around the horn: Celebrations of life, young and old

Sometimes, it's not always about what happens on the field between the lines and Wednesday was one of those nights. To wit:

Harwell It was an emotional appearance at Comerica Park for ailing 91-year-old Tigers broadcasting legend Ernie Harwell, who recently announced he has inoperable cancer and came to the yard for the game against the Royals for what seemed like one final good-bye. Wonderful column in this morning's Detroit Free Press on Harwell by Michael Rosenberg.

Harwell spoke on the field in the middle of the third inning (left), earning a standing ovation from the crowd and both teams. Check out the MLB.com video here. Quite a scene.

And he came into his old haunt, the press box, to greet the media as well.  Here's the video of that session. Equally as touching as what took place on the field.

It was Hal McCoy Night in Cincinnati, as the Reds honored the retiring Hall of Fame writer from the Dayton Daily News. He's been on the beat 37 years, longer than any writer in the country. If you haven't read my post on McCoy from Wednesday, you owe it to yourself to catch up by going to this link.

McCoy threw out the first pitch prior to Wednesday's game and delivered it to close friend Aaron Boone, who prodded him to keep his career going six years ago when his eyesight began to fail.

Then there's the story of the Monforto family in Philadelphia. Daddy caught a foul ball during Tuesday's game against the Nationals and gave it to his 3-year-old daughter, Emily -- who promptly chucked it back toward the field. His that's-OK-hug has given Steve Monforto Daddy of the Year nods all over the Internet and the family even appeared on Thursday's "Today" Show. Here's the video below. Be sure to watch for Mom's reaction -- she's the woman on the left holding a baby on her lap.

---Mike Harrington

(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

(Ernie Harwell photo: Associated Press)

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