Monday, April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas (1936-2009)

A voice of my childhood has been silenced.
Kalas, in his 39th season as narrator of all things Phillies, collapsed in the broadcast booth around 12:20 p.m. and died after being rushed to a nearby hospital. He was 73.

Phillies players and personnel were informed of the news by club president David Montgomery in a somber pre-game meeting.
Harry Kalas joined the Phils radio broadcast team in 1971, the first year of that ratdump known as Veterans Stadium. I was 12 years old.

Most of you non-Philadelphians remember him as the voice of NFL films and doing NFL games on radio for Westwood One.

He was teamed up with former Phillies Whiz Kid Richie "Whitey" Ashburn in the Phils booth. Whitey was very Phil Rizzuto-like on air. Each broadcast would have a trivia question and Whitey would never get it right, even one's like this:

HARRY: Whitey, Who had the most hits in the NAtuional league in the decade of the 1950's?

WHITEY: I'm sure it was Stan Musial.

HARRY: Wrong, Whitey. It was you!

Today I listen to USF basketball games on the radio broadcast by Harry's son Todd. He sounds like his dad.

Now, that's all I've got.

Rough week for baseball. Mark Fidrych is gone.

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