[nfbwatlk] Fw: MLB.com pays tribute to Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas

Mike Freeman k7uij at comcast.net
Wed Apr 15 02:39:12 UTC 2009

This is definitely off-topic but for all baseball fans, the below marks 
a sad day.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve" <k8sp at sbcglobal.net>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:52 AM
Subject: Fw: MLB.com pays tribute to Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tiger Mark" <tigermark6884 at charter.net>
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 11:29 PM
Subject: MLB.com pays tribute to Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas

    MLB.com pays tribute to Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

04/13/09 10:45 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Harry Kalas, the treasured voice of Philadelphia summers 
unforgettable falls, died Monday in Washington.
"We lost our voice," Phillies president David Montgomery said.

Kalas, 73, had been looking at the Phillies' lineup and talking to 
inside the visitors' clubhouse at Nationals Park just minutes before he 
the elevator to the Phillies' broadcast booth, where he was found 
at about 12:20 p.m. Phillies broadcasting manager Rob Brooks performed 
CPR on
Kalas before medical personnel rushed him to George Washington 
Medical Center, where he died at 1:20 p.m.

The cause of death was unknown. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The Phillies played their game against the Nationals and won, 9-8, but 
hardly mattered. Kalas, a Philadelphia icon, had passed.

"I heard Harry's voice probably for the first time as a 9-year old kid 
grew up listening to Harry and Richie Ashburn," said Phillies 
Jamie Moyer, who grew up a Phils fan in Souderton, Pa. "That's what I 
knew as
a kid. I came over here in 2006 and it was the same voice. Just a super 
to be around."

"What a sweetheart," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who was the
Phillies' manager from 1997-2000. "A voice that is unmatched. I used to 
him all the time. I'd say, 'Harry, I feel like I hear you more in the 
than I do in the summer,' because he'd be on a commercial or a football 
or radio. Everybody wanted him."

Kalas was a Hall of Fame talent with an infamous voice and delivery. He 
inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the National Baseball Hall of 
Fame and
Museum in 2002, having won the Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented 
broadcasters who made major contributions to baseball.

Kalas, who is survived by his wife Eileen and sons Todd, Brad and Kane, 
been a Major League Baseball broadcaster for 44 years, spending the past 
years with the Phillies.

While Philadelphians knew him as the narrator of their summers, fans 
the country might have known him better as the voice for NFL Films or 
voice-over work in commercials. But baseball is what Kalas loved the 
most, and
the baseball community expressed their condolences en force Monday.

"Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our 
Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Harry Kalas was an outstanding ambassador 
the game ... Baseball announcers have a special bond with their 
audience, and
Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the 
but to fans everywhere."

Everybody liked Kalas, and he seemed to like everybody.

Kalas had such status with the Phillies that he sat in the back of the 
charter flights, which typically is reserved for players.

"He came up to me today, I think right before he was about to head up to 
booth and asked me if I would have his step-daughter be my guest to go 
to the
White House," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said. "I told him, 
that's no problem. Absolutely no problem.' He was happy about it."

The Phillies had been scheduled to visit President Barack Obama on 
Tuesday at
the White House, their last celebration for winning the 2008 World 
championship. That visit has been postponed.

"He damn sure will be missed," said Dallas Green, who managed the 1980 
Series champion Phillies.

Kalas had missed the beginning of Spring Training after recovering from 
undisclosed medical procedure. He arrived in Clearwater, Fla., in March,
entering the final year of a three-year contract. He turned 73 on March 
Kalas was not scheduled to broadcast on his birthday, so asked why he 
was at
Bright House Field that afternoon he smiled and said, "For the love of 

He chuckled and kept walking.

But some worried about Kalas' health. He was noticeably thinner and 
seemed to
have less energy than in the past.

"I was worried to death about him," Green said.

But every time fellow broadcaster Tom McCarthy asked how he was feeling, 
always responded, "I'm feeling better every day."

"You never think it's going to happen anyway, but I thought he was 
stronger with each passing day," McCarthy said.

McCarthy and the rest of the broadcasters went on without him Monday, 
and the
players played knowing they would never hear one of Kalas' infamous 
here!" calls for one of their home runs again.

"I know I can speak for the Phillies when I say Harry Kalas is loved by
everyone," Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt said. "All of us 
relate to our daily confrontations with his smile, his charm, and his 
He spread his passion for people, and baseball, all over the country for
almost 50 years. His voice will resonate in my mind the rest of my life. 
will never be called 'Michael Jack' again without seeing his smile."

Kalas was born March 26, 1936, in Chicago. He grew up in Naperville, 
Ill., and
graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959. He spent two years in the 
stationed in Hawaii. A member of the original Astros broadcast team in 
Kalas joined the Phillies six years later.

"Harry was a special friend of mine and my family for 44 years," said 
chairman Bill Giles, who hired Kalas. "Baseball broadcasters become an
integral part of baseball fans' families. They are in the homes of fans 
day for the entire season. No one will ever be able to match the joy 
Harry and
Richie Ashburn brought to our fans for all those years. He had a great 
understood and loved the game, and loved people."

"It's a very sad thing to have happen," said Astros general manager Ed 
who started his baseball career as a public relations intern for the 
in 1977. "You have our four decades of a guy being the voice of the 
He wasn't on the national stage, but everyone knew that Harry Kalas and
Phillies baseball were intertwined."

And because they were so intertwined, Phillies baseball will never sound 
same again.

Kalas' family released a statement Monday: "The Kalas family is 
overwhelmed by
the outpouring of love and affection from all of Harry's fans and 
cross America. Especially the Phillies fans whom he loved as much as the 
of baseball itself."

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be sent in 
memory to Phillies Charities, Inc., Phillies, 1 Citizens Bank Way,
Philadelphia, PA 19148.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to 
approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More information about the NFBWATlk mailing list