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Harry Kalas Tribute

Remembering Harry Kalas Five Years Later

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, April 13, 2014 12:58 PM Comments: 11

On April 13, 2009, Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away while preparing for a contest between the Washington Nationals and the Phillies. Kalas had spent nearly 38 years of his 73 on earth as the voice of the Phillies, replacing the popular Bill Campbell for the 1971 season. Kalas was with the Phillies for the opening and closing of Veteran’s Stadium, the opening of Citizen’s Bank Park, and for six no-hitters, six NLCS’s, and three World Series. Because MLB rules prohibited local stations from broadcasting the World Series with their own broadcast teams in 1980, Kalas would have to wait until the conclusion of his final full season, 2008, to call a Phillies’ World Series win live.

It was worth the wait.

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Remembering Harry Kalas

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, April 13, 2013 01:00 PM Comments: 2

3451052833_824e04032e_oOn this day in 2009, Harry Kalas passed away. He was 73 and just about to call the Nationals home opener against the Phillies.

Living in DC at the time, I remember the day vividly. I had plans to go to the game that night, when I heard the news that Harry collapsed in the broadcast booth. He died shortly after. I still went to the game, not knowing what to except. The walk up to the park certainly felt different from other days. Fellow fans were wearing make-shift memorials on their shirts, many were crying, but all had empty looks on their faces, undoubtedly matching the emptiness that now exists in our hearts and ears.

But as sad as that day was, it’s hard not to remember Harry Kalas without a smile on your face. If Harry wasn’t providing the good times himself, he was usually part of it in some way – bantering with Whitey, calling a great moment in Phillies history, or simply his baritone voice in the background as you went about your evening. His greatness will live on forever.

Please enjoy some memories from our wonderful friend below and visit our Harry Kalas tribute page with many more.

Click here to play Harry Kalas calling Mike Schimdt’s 500th home run – 1987

Click here to play Harry calls the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series!

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We’ve Got High Hopes

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 07, 2011 03:07 PM Comments: 5

Once there was a silly old ant, who thought he’d move a rubber tree plant
But anyone knows an ant, can’t, move a rubber tree plant

But he’s has High Hopes
He has High Hopes
He has high apple pie in the sky hopes

So when you start feelin’ low, instead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant

Oops there goes another rubber tree
Oops there goes another rubber tree
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.

-Harry Kalas

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Gameday: Diamondbacks (68-53) at Phillies (78-41)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, August 16, 2011 06:15 PM Comments: 32

Arizona Diamondbacks (68-53) at Philadelphia Phillies (78-41)

Josh Collmenter, RHP (7-7, 3.51 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (15-4, 2.51 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
WPHL
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 74
Media: Twitter and Facebook

After a two-day hiatus due to schedule and rain, the Phillies resume action this evening against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks, which, even considering that the D-backs have won four division titles and a World Series in their 13-plus seasons of existence, seems a little funny. The Diamondbacks are looking to capitalize on a run of bad luck by the favored San Francisco Giants, who lost Sergio Romo, arguably the best relief pitcher in the National League this season, to the DL, where he could be joined by would-be offensive savior Carlos Beltran. The surviving Giants, meanwhile, face a tough road trip themselves, which they inaugurated by having Brian Wilson blow a 9th-inning lead last night to the Braves.
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Celebrating HK Two Years Later

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, April 13, 2011 07:07 AM Comments: 13

Tim Malcolm, Phillies Nation reporter emeritus, wrote this heartfelt reaction to the death of Harry Kalas the day after he passed in the press box at Nationals Park. That was two years ago today. To this day, he is still missed, but there is no doubt that his voice lives on. We’ll share some old audio clips later on today.

———————-

My mother’s and father’s were the first two voices I heard after I was born. Now I’m not sure, but I would bet the third was the voice of Harry Kalas.

It was a stunning voice. His rich, regal baritone felt like the wind shaving across a midwestern field. He was an Illinois boy, honing his craft in the fields of Iowa – closely neighboring the fields where Richie Ashburn rooted. He moved to Hawaii, then to Houston, then to Philadelphia. Despite his youth, he carried that majestic voice, deep and hearty, assured and personable. It honestly felt like baseball.

And for millions of us, Kalas’ voice wasn’t simply something that felt like baseball, it was baseball. It was the first sound heard when we turned the radio dial, then it was the first sound heard when we clicked to the television. It greeted us to the park as if we sat there ourselves. His words wrapped around the hollow concourses of Veterans Stadium, echoed into the field, warmed us on those chilly summer nights. And yet it defined our lazy summer afternoons, sitting at the public pool, or on the stoop, or in our living rooms. It cradled our hopes and ambitions of a team that always let us down.

Harry never let us down.

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Harry Kalas Statue to Stand at Citizens Bank Park

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, March 31, 2011 10:41 AM Comments: 4


In a press release from the Phillies, they have announced the acceptance of the Harry Kalas statue built by Larry Nolan:

The Phillies have gratefully accepted the fan-funded gift of a 7½-foot bronze statue of Harry Kalas for placement at Citizens Bank Park, Mike Stiles, Senior Vice President, Administration and Operations, announced today.  The statue was presented to the Phillies as a gift from Dear Harry, Inc., a fan-based group organized solely to create a statue dedicated to the memory of the Phillies Hall of Fame broadcaster.  The sculptor, Lawrence J. Nowlan, has received important commissions for public sculpture across the country and overseas.

“A group of us from the Phillies went to the Laran Bronze Foundry in Chester to see the statue for the first time a few weeks ago,” said Stiles.  “We were very impressed.  It’s a wonderful likeness of Harry that really captures his spirit.  There are interesting details that I don’t want to give away.  I think fans will be very excited to see this statue of Harry at the ballpark.

“The Phillies are very grateful to all the fans who contributed to this effort, as well as to Larry Nowlan for his impressive work.  We accept the gift, with gratitude, in honor of the memory of our beloved colleague and friend, Harry Kalas.”

Details about the location of the statue at the ballpark and date and time of the unveiling have yet to be determined.

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Opening Day Eve Party at McFadden’s

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, March 29, 2011 02:11 PM Comments: 0

With just three days to Opening Day – why not start the festivities early with us at a HUGE Phillies kick-off party at McFadden’s Ballpark this Thursday, March 31st. The party starts at 8pm with dollar beers for the first two hours. Mr. Greengenes will be providing the music and local celebrities will be tending bar. Also, King Bee Memorabilia will be running an auction to help raise money for the Harry Kalas statue project which is almost complete. We hope to see you there!
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Top Moment No. 6: The Day That Harry Died

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, January 17, 2010 07:30 AM Comments: 18

Top Moment #6: Harry Kalas Passes Away in the Broadcast Booth in Washington

http://popcultured.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/harry-kalas.jpgThis isn’t a top moment because of a particular play in the field or a tremendous home run hit, but because of the passing of a legendary figure.  If we voted on Worst Moments in Phillies History, this would certainly be at, or near, the top.  It makes this list because of the magnitude of such a loss; one that had a lasting impact on the 2009 season.  It isn’t a particularly joyous occasion, but it deserves its spot here as this list tries to tell the story of the past year.

Harry Norbert Kalas was born a broadcaster.  His soothing delivery became epic upon excitement; it was something you waited for and when it happened, it made the play that much more special.  Whether it was a “long drive, deep center field” or a “great diving stop”, or even the occasional “6-4-3 twin-killing”, Harry Kalas allowed for the game of baseball to be thoroughly enjoyed. It mattered not that you were five or 95 years of age; he connected generations with that smooth baritone voice.  There isn’t a Phils fan on Earth that hasn’t shared a drink with Harry Kalas, either through the transistor, or more recently, the flat screen. There isn’t a Phillies fan on Earth that didn’t shed a tear on that somber spring afternoon.

On April 13, 2009, as HK prepared for another day at the park, his big heart gave way, and he was called up to the stadium in the sky.  The Phillies would still play that day against the Nationals, pulling out a 9-8 victory with heavy hearts.  But the game meant very little other than a win for the standings. It meant nothing it all because the voice of the team for nearly four decades would no longer raise his voice in celebration as the Fightin’ Phils scraped and clawed their way to victory.

This is certainly a day no Phillies fan will ever forget.  Still, it’s good to know we can all take joy in the fact that HK finally got to call a World Series clincher.  He also died in the place where he’d made so many memories – the booth, getting ready to call another game.  I’m sure he’s busy right now hanging with Whitey, smoking stogies, taking pleasure in yet another baseball game.

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Top Moment No. 16: HK’s Last Call

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Tue, December 29, 2009 08:57 AM Comments: 34

Top Moment #16: Stairs Homers for Harry’s Last Home Run Call

It wasn’t until April 13th that the great Harry Kalas passed away. However, it was April 12th that we last heard his beautiful voice.

With the Phillies on the verge of falling to 2-4 to start the season, Chase Utley hit a 2-run home run off of Manny Corpas to tie the game.

It wasn’t that long ball that will be long remembered in Philadelphia, though. It was the 2-run pinch home run that Matt Stairs delivered in the top of the 9th inning off of Huston Street to win it. This would be the last home run call that the great Harry Kalas would ever deliver.

Brad Lidge came in to close out the game with a scoreless bottom of the ninth. When Chan Ho Park’s Phillies debut didn’t go as planned, 5 ER in 3.1 IP, the combination of Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson and Lidge put together 5.2 innings of 2-hit, shutout baseball to keep the Phillies in it.

But as stated before, it won’t be Utley’s game-tying home run that we remember…nor will it be the great effort of the bullpen on that frigid Denver afternoon. It will be Harry Kalas giving us one last “Outta Here.”

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Eight Months Later, Harry’s Still in Our Thoughts

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, November 13, 2009 08:08 AM Comments: 23

You’re putting together a puzzle, and you’re just about finished.  The whole puzzle is put together, but you realize that one piece is missing.  You look in the box, and it’s not there.

From walk-off wins, to complete games, to winning a National League pennant, the 2009 season was filled with many memories.  Even with all the success, Phillies baseball was missing something: their voice.

The Phillies organization did a terrific job remembering their late broadcaster.  During the National League East celebration, the team rushed to left field, showering the “HK” sign with beer.  “That ball is outta here!” was played after each home run, and “High Hopes” blasted after each win.  Harry Kalas was inducted into the  Wall of Fame, and the broadcast team shared their fondest memories of Kalas all year long.  All these tributes were heartwarming and classy, but you can’t help but wonder: “how would HK have called it?”

During the World Series, Scott Franzke called Chase Utley’s homer run: “…and as our friend ‘HK’ would say, you are the man!”  Franzke has done a fantastic job this season, and that call was perfect.  It showed that eight months later, Harry is still in all of our thoughts.

“Outta here!” and “struck ‘em out!”  are missed, but just as much as “no runs, no hits, no errors, and none left.”  On many occasions, what happened on the field was remembered by his calls.  There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of Harry.  Phillies baseball wasn’t quite the same, but  Harry would have been proud of this team.

Harry was the Phillies missing piece of the puzzle.  He is missed very much, but I am thankful that I was able to listen to him over the years.  HK will always be in our hearts, and always reminding us to have “High Hopes!”

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