As those who follow me on Twitter know, I’m a huge Philadelphia sports fan. So you can imagine my shock and sadness at the news that the Voice of the Phillies, Harry Kalas, had died. I have so many memories of watching and listening to Phillies games, in high school, in College, on long drives while at my last job, and the entire wonderful season last year- all with Harry the K’s excellent calls with that legendary voice. He was always there- a calming voice no matter the score. I’m really going to miss that.
I also never realized he did Inside the NFL- I had no idea how I never made the connection, but I guess I always thought of Harry as a baseball guy. But he was multitalented. In fact, he was more than just a great broadcaster, but he was an all around great guy. He never missed an opportunity to talk to a fan, to sign an autograph, or say any of his signature sayings (“OUTTA HEEERRRRREEE…”). Its a shame I’ll never get to meet him.
For awhile Philly fans had two of the best broadcasters in sports (the other being Merrill Reese of course), and now we have lost one of them. I don’t know how long we’ll have Merrill (hopefully for many years to come) but I’ll cherish every call he makes, as I cherished every one Harry made. I know what call will forever live in my memory, the last pitch of the 2008 World Series:
“One strike away, nothing and two the count to Hinske. Fans on their feet, rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches… the oh two pitch.. SWING AND A MISS! STRUCK HIM OOUUUTTT! THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE 2008 WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBAAAAAAALLLLLLLL… And let this city celebrate!”
I’m so happy he had a chance to make that call (as opposed to the 1980 championship when MLB’s silly rules prohibited from calling the game), and he made a classic Harry call. And its fitting that he died in the press box at the ballpark, doing a job he loved, surrounded by people he loved, in the city where his love of baseball began. What a way to go.
Rest in Peace Harry. We will miss you, dearly.