Ernie Tyler was a physically small man, but his impact on the Orioles' organization was massive.
For me and many of you, Ernie has been a constant over so many years of going to O's games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards.
It says all you need to know about Ernie when Cal Ripken Jr. asks you to end a streak and come to his Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown.
By now, you know Ernie died last night at 86. The offseason began with news he was hospitalized, and now, as a new season is set to begin, Ernie won't be there.
He was officially an umpires attendant, but that title hardly does the man justice. He was an advisor and friend to many, and saying he is a Baltimore baseball legend is not overstating it.
Last season, when the reporters would reach the first floor of Camden Yards, heading to the clubhouse, there would be Ernie, sitting and saying hi, always with that warm smile.
Thanks for everything, Ernie. You were a treasured friend and will never be forgotten by Oriole fans.
Here is a statement from Orioles' owner Peter Angelos:
"For over half a century Ernie Tyler was an integral part of the Orioles organization," said Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos. "Ernie's kindness, loyalty and commitment to his work and to the Orioles defined who he was both at the ballpark and in his personal life. Ernie will be greatly missed by all who knew him and on behalf of the club I extend my condolences to his wife, Juliane, and his family."
Ernie and his wife, Juliane, were married 64 years. In addition to his wife, Ernie is survived by 11 children - Theresa, Regina, Phil, Jim, Ernie Jr., Mary, Judy, Michael, Fred, Chris and Michelle. Nine Tylers, including Ernie, Juliane and seven of the children, worked for the Orioles at one time. His sons Jim and Fred currently serve as the home and visiting clubhouse managers, respectively.
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.