Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For Harry


Phillies president Dave Montgomery stated, "We lost our voice today." That voice that we lost was Harry Kalas. It's still hard for me to believe this is real; I don't want to believe this is real. Like most Phillies fans, I grew up listening to Harry and Whitey call games. Richie "Whitey" Asburn hasn't been with us since 1997, so Harry was the only thing left for us to hold on to. He's been with the Phils through the highest of highs and lowest of lows; 38 seasons altogether. I usually don't get too sentimental or religious on this site, but I truly believe Harry and Whitey are together again in heaven. From up above they got to watch the Phils beat the Nationals yesterday in Washington, where Harry first came to love the ballgame as a boy watching the Senators play. Victorino had a touching moment after his homerun as he pointed up to the broadcast booth.

I encourage readers to visit various Phillies blogs to check out other tributes to the legendary Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas. The Zo Zone has collection of people's reactions from around baseball. High Cheese has photos of some Phillies players smoking a cigarette in memory of HK prior to yesterday's game.


For me, my childhood has officially ended. Many people site his Mike Schmidt 500th homerun call, or him excitedly proclaiming, "Chase Utley, you are the man!", as their favorite Harry calls. No single call stands out in my mind, it's his collective body of work that I will forever cherish. When asked the popular question, "Who would you most like to have dinner with dead or alive?", I always responded Harry Kalas; and my answer will never change. I love and miss you Harry, and so does all of baseball. I'll never forget the sweet soothing sound of your leathery voice. "And this ball is outta here!"

*Harry Kalas image courtesy of ESPN.

~Carson

13 comments:

GM-Carson said...

My son is only 19 months old, but I will educate him through the power of video and Internet to the beauty of Harry Kalas' voice.

Greg Dietz (GreggyD) said...

I haven't cried so hard in quite some time. I keep thinking I'll be able to turn on the next Phils broadcast and hear his voice. It's just like losing a family member.

The song rings true when they sing "you don't know what you got til it's gone" and I still can't bring myself to comprehend that Harry Kalas, the man who brought me up on baseball, will never call another pitch again. Miss him dearly already. His work will never be duplicated.

Jayson Stark put it very well when he said "the void that is left in the hearts of Phillies fans today is unimaginable." I keep thinking he will be there the next time the Fightins take the field. Your mind just becomes so used to having that voice in your living room every night from April to September and without it, baseball just won't be the same.

He will be missed more than anyone will ever be able to put into words....RIP Harry. I miss you already and thank you for all of the memories you gave me and the rest of this city.

Chris said...

Very nice post. I am still upset. I went out last night and got my Phillies hat stitched with his name and "1936-2009" and I will wear it to Friday's game and then probably put it away into a hat case. I put a post of it up on my blog today.

GM-Carson said...

I saw that on your blog Chris and thought it was a nice touch.

It was very difficult for me to do this post today. I have so many emotions and thoughts rushing through my brain that if I typed them all it wouldn't be coherent. Putting into words exactly how I feel is impossible.

Maria said...

ESPN has a great video with Jayson Stark doing the voice over. I really can't believe he's gone. I feel like tomorrow, when I turn on the game, he'll be there.

Someone should get Franzke's calls of the 2 homeruns yesterday. In his own voice and as a tribute to Harry, "yes folks, that is of course outta here."

I am truly going to miss him. This will be a long summer without Harry.

GM-Carson said...

I very anxious to see what the Phils do to honor him. I've heard many suggestions: parada, drinks on the house at Harry the K's bar, name the broadcast booth "Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth", a parade...it'll be interesting to see what the Phils do.

njh723 said...

Harry Kalas Field at Citizens Bank Park?

Jay Ballz said...

I don't really think anything needs to be changed or renamed at the ballpark. The restaurant and scoreboard porch are already named after Kalas. Richie Ashburn has the Alley and broadcast booth named after him...Harry has the restaurant. Maybe the booth(s) can be renamed for BOTH Richie and Harry.

The man was a Phillie, no doubt. I won't be able to watch a Phillies game without thinking of him.

GM-Carson said...

Watching/listening to the Phils will never be the same. I still love following them just the same, but I will dearly miss Harry delivering me the play by play.

Anonymous said...

As far as any honor for Harry at the ballpark I think a good measure would be to create something similar to the Sixers. They have a banner with a microphone on it for Dave Zinkoff hung in the rafters with the other retired numbers.

Perhaps his name and a microphone painted on the outfield wall alongside the other retired numbers would be fitting.

GM-Carson said...

I like the idea of retiring his "microphone" so to speak as a retired number.

Joanne said...

I read somewhere today that it's no coincidence Harry the K's is at the end of Ashburn Alley.

And Greg, I think I'm reeling the same way you are. It's the permanence that hurts so badly.

Jeremy said...

R.I.P. Harry and thanks for the memories. You will be missed. You were truly one of the greatest.