DETROIT (AP) — Paul Carey, a radio broadcaster whose accounts of Detroit Tigers games captivated sports fans for nearly two decades, has died. He was 88.
Nancy Carey said her husband died "very peacefully" Tuesday at their home in the Detroit suburb of Rochester and had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease. She said he was "the love of my life and anybody that knew him was better off for knowing him."
In a statement, the Tigers said Carey was "a consummate professional who had one of the most distinctive and classic broadcast voices." He was Ernie Harwell's radio broadcast partner from 1973-91 and was behind the microphone during the Tigers' 1984 World Series championship season.
"The team of Ernie and Paul was, such a great team," current Tigers play-by-play radio announcer Dan Dickerson told the Detroit Free Press. "I think the thing I took away from listening to those broadcasts, just the way they called a really good game.
"I grew up listening to these guys. ... He had a powerful voice that kind of sucked you into the radio," Dickerson said.
Indeed, Carey's voice was authoritative and deep. During Tigers broadcasts, his shift spanned the middle three innings, with Harwell typically announcing the other six. During most of those seasons, he also served as a broadcast engineer, The Detroit News said, hauling equipment and arranging communications with Detroit station WJR-AM.
"Maybe one of the reasons we got along so well is that there was quite a difference in our personalities and approaches," Carey told The News in an interview after Harwell died in 2010. "Ernie got up early and exercised early. I got up late as I could and exercised as little as I could.
"I'm a worrier. Ernie was not. He didn't fret. Again, maybe that's why we got along so well. We weren't finishing each other's sentences."
In addition to his nearly two decades in the Tigers' booth, the native of Mount Pleasant worked for several radio stations in addition to WJR.
Carey was an honorary lifetime member of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association and a former president of the organization. He was awarded the 2012 DSBA Ernie Harwell Lifetime Achievement Award.
"His passing is mourned by all he touched, thanks to his talent, profile and longevity; he did indeed touch countless sports souls," Trevor Thompson, the president of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, said in a statement.
Arrangements are being handled by Modetz Funeral Home in Oakland County's Orion Township.