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Harry Kalas

Posted on: April 13, 2009 4:23 pm
 

Harry Kalas was an outstanding baseball broadcaster but I'll most remember Kalas for his association with NFL Films.

That distinctive, elegant voice was something many NFL fans grew up on. He took over for John Facenda who had been nicknamed "The Voice of God" by some NFL fans.

Kalas had his own saintly pipes. At NFL Films his work ethic was legendary as was his respect for players.

You know a voice is powerful when people can identify it as easily as they can some stars in the sport.

In the coming days you'll hear an outpouring from league officials as well as from NFL Films because Kalas was so highly respected within the sport.

Category: NFL
Tags: Harry Kalas
 
Comments

Since: May 8, 2008
Posted on: October 10, 2009 11:49 am
 

Harry Kalas

I know this is several months after the fact but I must write anyway.
Yuor comments about Harry were very moving. I had the chance to first listen to Harry when he was just beginning his career. I was 12 years old and living in Honolulu, Hawaii where Harry was calling the Hawaii Islanders games. I went to sleep at night with my transistor radio under my pillow so I could hear the games. That was from 1961 to 1966. Great memories. Imagine my surprise when in February of 1980 my job moved me to Philadelphia and a coiple months later I heard a Phillies pre-season game and there was Harry! Fantastic! Then of course the Phillies gave me (and all of us) a World Series win over the Royals. I still remember listening to Harry call the final out. I too shed a few tears when he passe this year. I subscribe to MLB Premium service on my cable network so I was able to listen to and watch the game just after his passing. What an emotional thing that was for me. I flashed back to those great days in Hawaii and Phily. I left Phily in 1984 and now way out here in California. The Phillies and Harry will always be in my heart. Let's go Phillies, one more time, this one is for Harry :(



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: April 17, 2009 5:19 pm
 

Harry Kalas

R.I.P. Harry Kalas

 

Phillies forever!

 

 




Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2009 2:45 pm
 

Harry Kalas

Great story G!

As I take the opportunity to read all the articles on the web about the legend Harry Kalas, I come across a blog from an old friend 2500 miles away.  That's what Harry Kalas meant to all of those who enjoyed the broadcaster & genuine nice guy. I can remember back in 1981, my aunt who lived in Connecticut was infatuated with Dallas Green.  The next time she came down to visit my father had gotten us tickets.  After the game we hung out where the players leave the stadium with about a hundred fans.  As all the great players walked out with the crowd cheering, Dallas took a picture with my aunt, who was thrilled beyond belief.  When Harry & Whitey came out, I can remember shouting, "Harry Kalas, the best broadcaster in baseball!"  Harry raised his arm & gave me a big smile.  Just Great Memories.

Just a few more names that I imitate in my best Harry Kalas voice...

Mic-key Mor-an-din-i, Bob-by A-brea-u, Mike Lieb-er-thal & of course...Mi-chael Jack Schmidt

Harry & Whitey are together again.  I am sure my dad is smiling seeing those two again.

 

 




Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2009 9:50 am
 

Harry Kalas

I want to pass my condolenses along to the Kalas family and all Philadelphia Phillies fans.  I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan and I remember the day that our voice, Jack Buck, was silenced in 2002.  Losing Jack was a big deal for Cardinal Nation.  I tried to figure out a way that my niece and nephews could listen to some of his famous calls so they can at least hear what their Dad, Aunt, and Uncle grew up listening to.  What is much worse, in my opinion, is that my nephew, who has been a Phillies fan since 2005, has never and will never be able to listen to Harry call a game. 

It is hard to describe the relationship that a fan base has with a broadcaster.  Detroit had Ernie Harwell, the Cubs had Harry, the Dodgers still have Vin Scully, the Braves had Skip and Pete, the Cardinals had Jack, the Reds have Marty and his son Tom, and the Phillies had Harry and Richie.  I remember last year when Skip Caray passed and the entire baseball world morned the loss of a great voice and a great person, now it has happened again.  I think I listened to Harry's call of the last strike of the World Series last season about 10 times this morning when I came into work.....that will be my lasting memory of Harry Kalas, that and his "Outta Here" calls....we'll all miss ya Harry!!!!




Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2009 10:27 pm
 

Harry Kalas

I can just about hear him say,"great pass by THAT Peter Tom Willis". 

My Harry story took place in the Lincoln Financial Field's press cafeteria.  I was sitting @ a table and heard this "voice" say "is anyone sitting here young man". (I'm 41 @ this point).  The hair on my neck stood on end as I knew who it was.  I moved my laptop and he joined me.  Asked where I was from and mentioned a few bars and people.  I texted people furiously to tell them I was sitting with a legend. My father in law has lost a terrible bout with cancer and my wife asked me to please tell harry his voice will always make her think of listening to games with her dad.  Probably the 5000th time he was told that in a week.  He smiled and said thanks.  A few minutes later, my wife called and Harry Kalas talked to her on the phone for 5 minutes,  About an hour before he was to broadcast an NFL playoff game and he is talking to my wife.  He asked her questions, thanked her for her kind words and showed genuine care & concern.  NOT forced and NOT fake.  Genuine, sincere and a true gentleman.  I think the only fitting tribute is to broadcast the 1st inning of the "tribute game" in TOTAL SILENCE.  I ask the Phillies to do this in Harry's honor.  How fitting it is that he passed away in a press box.  Like a champion golfer going on the green.

To twist a Don McLean lyric "the day the broadcast died".  REST IN PEACE to the incomparable HARRY KALAS.  Tell Whitey & God we said hello. 

 




Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2009 6:17 pm
 

Harry Kalas

 

 HARRY 1 OF THE IF NOT THE BEST IN HIS SPORT. A HALL OF FAMER. I WILL MISS YOU I GREW UP LISTENING TO YOU. YOU WERE MY PACIFER LOL .1 MORE TIME FOR HARRAY,   HE HAD HIGH HOPES, HE HAD HIGH HOPES HE HAD PIE APPLE PIE IN THE SKY HOPES. JUST REMEMBERING HIM SINGING THAT SONG AS THE PHILS CLINCHED ON THE LAST GAME OF 2007 THE TEARS WILL NOT STOP. IVE MET HARRAY A COUPLE TIMES A HELL OF A NICE GUY NO MATTER WHO YOU WERE HE TREATED YOU AS A FRIEND.  KNOWING HARRAY,S SENSE OF HUMOR HE WOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING LIKE IM OUTTA  HEEERE  LOVE AND MISS YOU ALLREADY H.K




Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2009 5:24 pm
 

Harry Kalas

Harry was the consummate pro, and the consummate good guy.

If you ever met him, you know he was as gracious and nice a man as you could ever hope to meet.

He defined Hall Of Famer, and always brought his "A game"...whether it was broadcasting a Phillies World Series game...a Notre Dame football game...narrating an NFL Films highlight...or a Chunky Soup commercial...or even announcing this year's "Puppy Bowl" on Animal Planet!

A class act, and an even better human being. I'm sure he and Whitey Ashburn are up in heaven together, catching up a little.

My condolences to Harry's wife and family. Knowing how much he was loved and respected by Philadelphia's perennially tough fans will hopefully help them - and us - through this difficult time.

It's hard to accept that those dulcet tones that got this 48 year old Phillies fan through many warm summer nights are now "Outta here!" 

Rest in peace, Harry. You will be missed.




Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2009 5:15 pm
 

a gentle giant

This is definitely a sad day.  I work with voice talents for various projects, and for years I've categorized those who have voices similar to certain people.  On more than one occasion I've written "Kind of like Harry Kalas, except...", the 'except' part always being why they weren't as good as Harry.

 

Maybe the best praise I can give to Kalas is that I've never been a Phillies fan, yet hearing his voice on radio for the past 30 years as I've traveled through the country always made me smile.  Like Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, Jack Buck and Vin Scully, he is one of the handful of broadcasters that fans would cozy up to whether they were rooting for their team or not.  I believe that's in large measure due to his true personality and grace: a gentleman, a fan of the game, and a man who always seemed to have time for others.

 

 




Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2009 5:01 pm
 

Harry Kalas

He also used to call some college football for Mutual Radio, and always did a bowl game every New Year's.  Everybody has their favorite name or call of Harry's.  "Michael Jack Schmidt," the way he used the word "that," such as, "and here comes that Ricky Bottalico."

But one of my personal favorites was for some reason I listened to the Fiesta Bowl around 1990 on the radio (must have been travelling on New Years Day) and it was Florida State-Nebraska.  The Seminole QB had a great game, and it was none other than Peter Tom Willis.

Hearing Harry say, "A great throw from Peter Tom Willis" over and over again was something I'll never forget.  And I've probably listened to nearly 1,500 Phillies broadcasts easily.  Perhaps 2,000 if I include Harry on television, too.  But that Fiesta Bowl, he was awesome.  Just like he was at everything else.

I was working at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association awards back in 2008.  Harry was the emcee and did a bang-up job as always.  The PSWA awards are kind of odd, to put it mildly.  They honor a vast array of people involved in sports in the Delaware Valley.  It's really well done, but there never seems to be a great order in the way the awards and honors are given out.  The room is packed and it often takes a reward recipient a couple minutes to get from their table to the podium.  Anyway, Harry would use this time to tell all kind of stories, often involving Whitey.  I even got a private moment with him outside right before the awards began, just me and him.  He was catching a smoke and I had just parked my car.  He even remembered me from a few other things we've been involved with or just were at together.

I'm looking right now at my baseball with his and Whitey's signatures on it.  That little momento just got a whole lot more important in my life.

We've lost a real, distinctly American treasure in Harry Kalas.  This is a grey day.




Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: April 13, 2009 4:51 pm
 

Harry Kalas

Mike,

You hit the nail on the head when you say "You know a voice is powerful when people can identify it as easily as they can some stars in the sport."

As a fan who grew up on hearing Kalas recap the previous week's NFL games, it saddens me to hear of his passing.

 



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