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February 11, 2011

Orioles umpires' attendant Ernie Tyler dies at age 86

Ernie Tyler, the longtime Orioles’ umpires’ attendant known for his tireless work ethic and sly sense of humor, died late last night, a team official confirmed.

Tyler, 86, died at Long Green Center, a North Baltimore long term care facility.

A local legend, Tyler once worked 3,819 consecutive home games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, from Opening Day 1960 to July 27, 2007. His streak, which included 3,769 consecutive regular-season games, 40 post-season games and nine exhibitions, ended when he accepted an invitation from Cal Ripken Jr. to attend Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Tyler had battled minor health problems for the past few years, but on Oct. 2 was forced to leave Camden Yards before against the Detroit Tigers after experiencing dizziness and slurred speech. A benign brain tumor was discovered and a few days later doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center removed the tumor in an hours-long surgery.

Tyler had been attempting to recuperate from the surgery this offseason.

A graduate of Mount St. Joseph’s High School, Tyler began working for the Orioles as a part-time usher in the Orioles first season in 1954. He became a full-time usher in 1958 and then took over the umpires’ attendant role in 1960.

In 2004 he received the club’s Herb Armstrong Award presented by the Orioles’ Advocates Hall of Fame Committee to non-uniformed personnel who have achieved meritorious service.

Tyler is survived by his wife, Juliane, and their 11 children, including sons Jimmy and Fred, who are the Orioles’ home and visiting clubhouse managers.

Tyler's funeral liturgy is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Forest Hill, and the interment will be at Bel Air Memorial Gardens.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 9:24 AM | | Comments (59)


God bless 'em all. Great people.

That man lived a lot of life.

RIP Ernie!!! Thank you.

RIP Mr Ernie. He was such a good man and gentle soul. He will be missed.

If you went to Orioles games from 1960 to 2010 you saw many a great player. They changed through out the years but one constant was always there at Memorial Stadium or Camden Yards and that constant was Ernie Tyler, umpire attendant. RIP Ernie Tyler you are as much a part of Baltimore as the great players who graced those fields.

For those of us who were, On-Field game personal, Ernie was our mentor, our Rock. He always looked out for us and made sure we were safe. Or in my position as photographer he always gave me the heads up. Who was hot who was not. If a batter pulled the ball or was a 1st pitch swinger. All of these tips led to my success of great Orioles photos! THANK YOU ERNIE! I will miss you friend!

RIP Ernie. You will be a part of Orioles baseball forever and thank you for your dedication and commitment to the organization. I open they put a plaque at Camden Yards where you sat in remembrance to you.

A tremendous loss for the Orioles Family. A true gentleman and class act. Rest in Peace.


My prayers go out to the Tyler family. Ernie was a wonderful soul and will be missed.

Heaven now has an umpire's attendant.M

I didn't know Ernie at all personally, but feel like I did. As I was introducing my kids to O's baseball in late 90's, I always pointed him out as a 'greater Iron Man than Cal', which is unbelievable when you think about it. He was a consistent part of the Orioles for my entire life (born in '62). Players came and went, but Ernie was ALWAYS there. Rest in Peace to a man who's work ethic everyone should emulate. I always liked the hop in his step - he liked his job and did it with energy.

Ernie Tyler was a wonderful man, a great Oriole and a tireless worker - he represented all that was great about the Oriole family. He was also one of the few guys who had more longevity with the team than my dad, Phil Itzoe. Ironically, his passing yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Dad's passing.

It's been a tough few years for the O's family of old but Ernie will be remembered as a class act. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially Jimmy and Freddy, who do an amazing job and have continued the Tyler legacy of service to the team for such a long time.

Rest in peace, Ernie.

RIP Mr Tyler.

You were truly an Oriole treasure.

You will be greatly missed.

God Bless you and your family.

rip ernie.
i'll miss his skip/run from the dugout area to the umpire.

Ernie was one of the classiest guys in sports - and in Baltimore.

Here is part of a feature that aired about him on ESPN in 2005:

How wonderful is it that Ernie is so well thought of and famous in this town. I think it speaks well of Orioles traditions, and it's too bad the team on the field hasn't reflected those traditions in recent years.

My condolences to the Tyler family - your father was a local treasure.

in this day and age of narcissism, one text message into the first game, and an employee would bolt. LOL. Shame we don't all have this same work ethic today, America would be a lot more productive

RIP Ernie. There will be no Orioles umpire attendant like him. Glad that I had the opportunity to meet him several times in my life, especially sitting in the front row during one game at Memorial Stadium when I was 11 and he was right next to me. I will always remember him as very friendly and being energized. I was in awe to see him running non-stop especially his age. I hope the O's will arrange something this season to honor him. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the O's family. He will not be always forgotten!

First Elrod, now Ernie. The connection to the Orioles past is really disappearing now. Vaya con dios Ernie.

A kind, and gentle man has gone to heaven. I hope they bury him with 3 baseballs in each hand. Rest in peace Ernie.....


About 50 years ago, when the Tylers were living in the shadow of Memorial Stadium, Mr. Tyler helped coach the Little League team that his twin boys played on. I was lucky enough to be on that team. So I got to know what a wonderful guy he was. Many years later, when I helped coach a Little League team in Arizona, he and a few other men were my role models. Thanks for your wonderful life, Mr. Tyler.

Ernie Tyler is truly a legend. I was fortunate to meet him and his wonderful family as a limo driver engaged by the O's to take the family to his "day" honoring many years of service and later when he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of fame. He insisted that I sit in the owners seats with his family the first time and in the sky box on the second. He included me in the clubhouse party and even gave me a personal tour of rooms that he managed. He was a wonderful man who made the people he met feel like long time friends. He took his job seriously but graciously and I will never forget him.

Those whose lives he touched would fill The Yard many times over.
He was always kind to the children who came to the games,the scouts, the safety patrols and such. No wonder, I did not know he and his kind wife had 11 children.
Baltimore can claim him as one of ours.

Condolences to Ernie's family. We will miss him. Like he, I am a St. Joe graduate and an Oriole fan since I was born (1942), following the International League Orioles on radio until 1954 when they became big league.

what a tremendous loss for the city of baltimore! It was such an honor or seeing Mr Tyler at Cals Induction into Cooperstown!
having season tickets for most of my life starting at memorial stadium and continuing at oriole park, it was an every day occurance seeing the two Ironmen hard at work! RIP Ernie! you'll be missed.

Here's another Ernie Tyler video on YouTube:

Just to echo what's been written here: class comes in all shapes and sizes. Ernie was a class act. Would that there was more dignity in the world, it would be a better place. Thanks ET, you can now go home.

My condolences to my friends the Tyler’s! Your dad was truly the Iron Man! I will always have great memories of growing up in and around the stadium in the old neighborhood with your family!

One umpire friend once told me there were two things he looked forward to on a trip to Baltimore -- seeing Ernie Tyler and Maryland crab cakes. In that order. As near as I know Ernie is the last person to have a connection with the club from the very first season -- a remarkable 58 year run, and he enjoyed every inning of it. Those of us in the media have lost a great friend, and the Orioles have lost a legend.


As ex-pats and Oriole fans, we are both amazed and saddened to read this wonderful story. My wife's teenage dream was to manage the O's and we grew up with Chuck Thompson's mellifluous voice and "Katie Bar the Door". Now I wish we had known more about Mr. Tyler. Many thanks to Ripken for taking him to Cooperstown. and condolences to his family. Wha a life, what a story.

We knew Ernie for many years and will miss him. He was a true gentleman, who loved baseball and his family.

Ernie, helped to make a O's home game, fun.....We can only hope that we can follow his ideals..

We went to a game once and I had my binoculars and for some reason I thought he was a priest because of the black outfit he wore. LOL They weren't the best binoculars. Then I found out what he did. RIP Mr Tyler - he was blessed with the opportunity to do what he loved up til the end!

My wife and I knew Ernie for many years. What a gentleman and a good friend. Ernie, you will be truly missed. Our prayers are with your family.

He gave me my first real baseball.

RIP Mr. Tyler

It was a honor to meet Mr.Tyler before a game last year. He took time out of his busy schedule to sign a program for me. He will greatly missed. R.I.P Mr.Ernie Tyler

A true gentleman and one of the last links to the "Orioles Way".

I once had the honor to sit in the front row and chat with Mr. Tyler (he wouldn't have liked that but he deserved to be called that). That was one of my fondest memories.

He, Rex and Chuck will hopefully get together again now.

My condolences to the Tyler family.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to introduce my wife and daughter to Ernie last season. It was during my daughter's first Oriole game and we were in the office getting a certificate to mark the special occasion. Ernie walked in to get out of the August heat, and wore a gigantic smile. I introduced my wife to Ernie and asked him to tell my wife (a NJ native) where the only mud suitable for a Major League baseball could be found. He gleefully said "Delaware River in NJ".

Ernie Tyler is truly the unsung hero of the Orioles and we should all be so lucky to have half of his work ethic.

Sad news indeed. My 15 year old son knew who Ernie was, I made sure of it.

He will be missed. I always looked for him when ever I attened or watch an Orioles game over the last 50 years.
I remember meeting him in Cooperstown at Cal's induction and shacking his hand.
He was a great man.
May GOD Bless Him and His Family Always.

My condolences to the Tyler family. His work ethic and dedication for such a long period of time makes it an honor to say he was part of our Orioles organization. He will be greatly missed.

My son called me at home to tell me the news. Thats important to me because being O's fans to us is more than just the players. We got to see him rub up baseballs on a clubhouse tour during a fanfest and being from Jersey we knew about where the mud came from when he asked the question. It became part of our baseball experience. Players came and went but Ernie was always there. I'll give an old Rex and say "thank youuuu" and rest in peace at the big ballpark in the sky.

As a lifetime O's fan of 41 years, I'd like to offer to Ernie the immortal words of Rex Barney.

Ernie, "Thank youuuuu."

You will be missed!

Ernie led a long and fruitful life doing what he loved and left surrounded by those who loved him. You can't ask for more than that.

Ernie spent his entire adult life doing what he loved to do and lived to the ripe olf age of 86 doing it.

We should all be so lucky. His was a life well lived, and it should be celebrated, not mourned.

RIP Ernie Tyler.

God bless you, Ernie. May He comfort your family at this time as well.

My best goes out to Ernie Tyler's family.

Ernie was a classy man and I would love to see the O's honor him by wearing his initial on their jersey, as no one deserves it more than Mr. Tyler!

they need to have an ernie tyler tshirt tuesday!

It was a honor and a pleasure caring for Mr. Ernie. May he rest in peace. To the Tyler family - you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I only met Ernie one time, in Cooperstown, NY during Cal's induction week. I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame also.
What a great guy.
RIP Ernie

Poppy, we all love you, i'll miss seeing your smile everyday, have fun in heaven, we know your up there playing with Buddy right now <3

If Heaven has a screen behind home plate, Ernie is catching foul balls as they roll back down off the top.

The Orioles enjoy working to help others succeed. experience a plus.

Poppa Ernie RIP I going to miss you poppa. I am going to miss your smiling face and father /son talk we had when ever we got together LOVE ALWAYS

Mr. Tyler was a personal friend of my Dad and I remember him very much back during 1968 and 1969 when I was employed at Memorial Stadium. He is and was what a Baltimoreon was and stood for. He will be impossible to replace


One of the nicest men I've ever met

poppy your grandson ryan i love and miss you.i wiil always remember you youll always be my poppy may you rest in peace.please stay with me and never leave. i love you goodbye

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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