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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