Search the Baltimore County community newspaper archives

>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"

subscriber services email print comment

Ernie Tyler loved his family and loved the Baltimore Orioles. He devoted his life to them.

On Tuesday, Mr. Tyler’s wife, 11 children, 27 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, as well as his Oriole family, remembered the longtime Orioles umpires attendant, who died Thursday at age 86, at a funeral Mass at St. Ignatius Church in Hickory.

Mr. Tyler, who had lived in Forest Hill since 1973, started as an usher before he filled in “temporarily” as the umpires attendant for a few weeks. A few weeks became 51 years and a string of 3,819 consecutive home games. He was the Orioles’ “other” Iron Man.

A stream of former Orioles, including Ken Singleton, BJ Surhoff, Mike Bordick and Cal Ripken Jr., as well as owner Peter Angelos, paid their respects to Mr. Tyler and his family.

Mr. Tyler was remembered as a man who loved his family, worked hard and followed the Golden Rule of “do unto others,” Scott McGregor, former Orioles pitcher and family friend, said during the Mass.

“He did right, he was an honorable man,” McGregor said. “God blessed him, and he was a wonderful testament to life.”

Mr. Tyler always put himself before others, McGregor said, and was always looking out for everyone else.

He recalled a story former Oriole Boog Powell told of an at-bat when he was surrounded by a swarm of bees. Mr. Tyler came up to him with a can of bug spray and eliminated the pests.

“Why he had that I don’t know,” McGregor said. “But he said to Boog, ‘Don’t worry about it, I got it.’ That was the epitome of Ernie Tyler, ‘Don’t worry about it, I got it.’”

After he was asked to speak, McGregor said, he jotted down a few ideas. Three things immediately came to mind.

“Actions speak louder than words,” McGregor said. “He was outstanding on a day-to-day basis. He took the backseat, not the front. He put others in front of himself.”

The former Orioles pitcher and Aberdeen IronBirds pitching coach also remembered Mr. Tyler’s sense of humor and his work ethic.

“He set an example his whole life,” McGregor said.

McGregor recalled a particular Bible passage.

“God is very pleased with a man who does what is right and just and imparts it on his children,” McGregor said. “He did right.”

McGregor said that while Mr. Tyler was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2004, the ultimate tribute the Orioles could pay to Mr. Tyler would be to rename Oriole Park at Camden Yards as Ernie Tyler Field.

“He represents everything, what every family in the city of Baltimore should want to stand for,” McGregor said.

The other streak

Mr. Tyler’s streak included 3,769 home games, 40 playoff games, nine exhibition games and one All-Star game at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards.

It was because of Ripken that Mr. Tyler broke his consecutive games streak. Ripken invited him to attend his induction ceremony into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Mr. Ripken invited me to go as his guest to Cooperstown and how could anyone turn that down,” Mr. Tyler said in July 2007. “Nobody would do that.”

Mr. Tyler missed two games, and was right back in his chair the next day.

He viewed his streak pretty much in the same way Ripken viewed his streak of 2,632 consecutive games played.

“It was just getting up, going down there and seeing a ballgame,” Tyler told The Aegis in 2007. “When I did finally stop it, it was sort of a relief.”

‘Field of dreams of glory’

During his homily, Monsignor Jim Barker likened Mr. Tyler to one of the trees in the Redwood Forest in California.

“In my 56 years of life, I have never seen trees so huge and so big that they tower into the clouds,” Barker said. “All of us kind of feel like one of those giant trees has fallen.”

Mr. Tyler was at Mass every Sunday, either at St. Ignatius or with the Orioles chaplain, Father John Bauer, who said Mass with Monsignor Barker Tuesday.

“He had a wonderful belief in our Lord and the eternal life He offers,” Monsignor Barker said. “Ernie is in a field of dreams of glory.”

Mr. Tyler lived out his faith in a very humble way, day in and day out, Monsignor Barker said.

“We feel real sadness in the loss of Ernie,” he said. “But his death brought peace to a mortal body that was very weary, very tired.”

Following the Mass at St. Ignatius, Mr. Tyler was interred in Bel Air Memorial Gardens




Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic
September 23, 2019 icon depicting Clear weather 72°F
‘We’re going to see them again': After disappointing loss to Chiefs, Ravens determined to fix their flaws

When the Ravens rewind the tape on Sunday's game, they will probably not like what they see. Some of the failings will be new to this team; some of them will not.

Maryland in photos

Browse recent images from Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun Media Group photographers.