Harry Kalas (1936-2009)

I grew up listening to Harry Kalas. My earliest memories of baseball on the radio involve Harry and Whitey (Richie Ashburn), Chris Wheeler, and Andy Musser.

When Dave Montgomery announced that Harry had died yesterday he said the Phillies had lost their voice. I agree. Baseball at its best involved the Phillies playing and Harry telling me about it. Now that is no longer possible.

Ricky Botallico said something that I appreciated yesterday afternoon, shortly after the news broke. To paraphrase his words: As a baseball man Harry was on a pedestal. He towered over most of the media and fans. But despite this he kept his feet firmly on the ground. He remained a fan. He enjoyed the game, and he enjoyed sharing the game with people.

I’ll never forget Harry the K. His home run calls, his distinct enunciation, his nicknames for players, his pregame monologues, his renditions of High Hopes, and everything else that made him a Hall of Fame announcer.

I have the audio of his call of the final out in the 2008 World Series, his last home run call this week, and his last call of the final out of a ballgame. Sadly I cannot post them due to copyright law, but I will always have them.

Harry Kalas made my life richer, and I thank him for that.

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