Philadelphia Phillies fans are mourning longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas who died yesterday of. For 38 years Kalas brought play by play action to television watchers and radio listeners throughout the Delaware Valley.
Philadelphia Phillies fans are mourning longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas who died suddenly yesterday. For 38 years Kalas brought play by play action to television watchers and radio listeners throughout the Delaware Valley.
By now this is a familiar clip for Phillies fans.
Kalas: The 0-2 pitch…swing and a miss…struck him out, the Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball.
That’s Harry Kalas broadcasting Brad Lidge’s strike out pitch that made the Phillies World Series Champions.
Frank Fitzpatrick is a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Fitzpatrick describes Kalas as warm and caring.
Fitzpatrick: And he has such a remarkable voice, and such a love of the game and that love just came through in every broadcast.
Kalas: …long drive could it be?…it is a game winning pinch hit, home run…Mike Lieberthal can you believe it?
Kalas was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois. And came to Philadelphia from the Houston Astros in 1971. He adopted Philadelphia as his city and became affectionately known as “Harry the K.” Generations of fans grew up with his voice. Bill Kashatus was one of those kids. He’s written several books on the Phillies including “Almost a Dynasty, the Rise and Fall of the 1980 Phillies.”
Kashatus: When Harry brought you the game, and the way he called it, especially when he had that trademark “outta here homerun!!”….
Kalas: …deep center field this ball is outta here…
Kashatus: And for me, Mike Schmidt being my boyhood hero, it was…outta here home run Michael Jack Schmidt….
Kalas: …long drive there it is, number 500…the career 500th home run for Michael Jack Schmidt! And the Phillies have regained the lead in Pittsburgh 8 to 6 and the Phillies dugout comes swarming out to homeplate!
Kashatus: …it just gave the added pleasure to the game.
For more than two decades Kalas broadcast the games with Hall of Fame player Richie Ashburn, and the two formed a close bond.
Kalas: Hi everybody, from Veteran’s Stadium, welcome to Phillies baseball, opening night 1978, …Rich here we go, 1978.
Kalas was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 and describes learning of the award in the documentary “Hometown Legends.”
Kalas: I’m in the shower on January 29th, I’ll never forget the day. I’m in the shower and I get out and my wife says you got a call from a Dale Petrosky at the hall of fame…I said what? So I called him back and that’s how I found out.
Kalas was also known nationally as a voice for NFL films.
He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in speech, radio and television. He began his sportscasting career in Hawaii. He worked in Houston before being hired by the Philadelphia Phillies. Kalas called more than 5,000 games for Philadelphia.
Kalas: On the way to Cape May….
Harry Kalas died Monday. He collapsed in the broadcast booth in DC before a Phillies game with the Washington Nationals. Harry the K was 73.