Harry the K Has Died

Filed in Sports by on April 13, 2009

I just heard news that Harry Kalas, longtime Phillies announcer has died.

hat tip to the 700 Level for the image.


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  1. Von Cracker says:

    So sad….

    Glad we won last year…a final hurrah!


  2. Hearing that mellifluous voice was always so reassuring. With Harry & baseball, all was right with the world. Year after year after year.

    He leaves a great void, but so many memories.

    Rest in Peace, Harry. And say ‘hi’ to Rich Ashburn from all of your and his loyal fans.

  3. RSmitty says:

    The only Phillies voice I’ve known for an entire lifetime. Admittedly, I started cringing a bit on his (non-) homerun calls, but still irreplaceable. Maybe an honorary stogie should be lit…go ahead and drink a few, too, the man was not shy about that, either!!!

  4. Von Cracker says:

    Starting to sink in a little bit. He’s the only voice of the Phils I know, though I’m sure some may remember Bill Campbell. With all his other work, be it NFL Films, movie promos, commercials, his voice might be the most recognizable to most Americans – not in “I know who that is” but “I know that voice from somewhere”…The voice of God, for sure.

  5. a. price says:

    I just dont know baseball without him. This will be a strange and sad season indeed….. but as far as the Phills… Ive got High Hopes… RIP Harry

  6. anonone says:

    He did what he loved doing right up until his last day. May we all be so lucky.

    He will be missed.

  7. RSmitty says:

    a. price…funny you mention that. In reading this thread and the usually-crappy comments on the Snooze Journal site, I kept wondering if someone will post his apparent-drunken rendition of High Hopes after they clinched in 2007.

  8. RSmitty says:

    OK, I’m listening to the beginning of the broadcast of the game on WDEL right now. I can’t imagine being any of that broadcasting team right now, dealing with this, yet still having to broadcast. Sounded to me that Franske is really struggling.

  9. a. price says:

    I remember that as a great moment. I was at that game, and a little tipsy or no, it was classic Harry, and classic Philly.

  10. RSmitty says:

    I’m going to change my assessment of the broadcast…from struggling to it is highly difficult. Franske and Anderson are making me all Jason Scott…I mean weepy. I expect nothing else, actually, but to hear Larry Anderson’s voice break and be obviously sad and hurt, is still very sombering.

  11. Unstable Isotope says:

    By weepy, do you mean Glenn Beck weepy?

  12. RSmitty says:

    So long as I am calling it, “Jason Scott,” yes, then it is Glenn-Beck-weepy.

  13. Some of you young’uns may not realize (hell, ‘bulo remembers Byrum Saam, another great Phils’ radio voice) that Harry never got the chance to call the World Series games in 1980 at all. Both the TV and radio rights are/were controlled by networks who generally have their own announcers do the games.

    So, it was an act of tremendous class and respect (would YOU want to pass up the chance to call the last out of the World Series?) on the part of MLB and Fox to give Harry the call of a lifetime last October.

    And Harry delivered that call with all the joy you would expect of a man whose entire life was wrapped up in the Phillies.

  14. Unstable Isotope says:

    What a wonderful story, ‘Bulo. The baseball fans I know at work are devastated and I heard it was quite sudden and unexpected. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.

  15. jason330 says:

    As a very fair weather Phillies fan, my heart goes out to the real Phillies nation today.

    Even Republicans.

  16. Another Mike says:

    I heard the opening of the pregame show, and Franzke and Andersen could barely speak. They are struggling with this one. First inning has been a mess.

    Harry, it was nice to see you throw out the first pitch last Wednesday and then get your ring.

  17. RSmitty says:

    ‘bulo…actually, after what happened in 1980, the Philly phaithful, media, et al raised such a major stink (MAJOR), other markets eventually joining that stink, that MLB changed the rules…eventually, but it pointed back to the 1980 series. The participants’ “home” crew are now allowed to call the WS games over the radio. It’s not required, it’s team-optional, but needless to say, I don’t believe anyone has passed since it became effective.

    Unless you are speaking about something on TV that I missed, but I am speaking of radio, I’d like to think that MLB showed extra class, but local radio-teams is now the norm for WS-team-participating markets.

  18. Von Cracker says:

    How’s the broadcast team holding up, anyone?

    I can’t watch from work….

    Man, this sucks. Nostalgia is getting to me….


  19. Yeah, Smitty, you’re right. ‘Bulo was referring to MLB and Fox bringing Harry on to call the last pitch of the WS that he never got to call in 1980, the only other time the Phils have won the Series.

    ‘Bulo also vaguely remembers an album that was put out by Phils after the ’80 World Series where they essentially recreated the call of the last out. It just wasn’t the same.

  20. RSmitty says:

    VC, I am listening to WDEL, I can’t watch, either. You can hear Franzke and Anderson slowly evolving to total reminiscing, but an occasional voice crack here and there. As I mentioned before, it was real tough in the top of the first inning. As they’ve been able to talk about Harry, though, it’s obviously helped them cope, to a point. This game is effectively more eulogy first, game second.

  21. Von Cracker says:

    Thanks, Smitty.

    Wish I had that “Set your DVR from your cell” feature right about now….

    I’m sure Wheels is a mess. Glad that they buried the hatchet a while back.

  22. anonone says:

    Marilyn Chambers, the pretty Ivory Snow soap girl, also died today.

  23. Von Cracker says:

    The only Marilyn Chambers I know does dirty movies. 👿

    Also on the baseball front, Mark Fidrych, aka The Bird, died today as well…

  24. I heard he died while in the broadcast booth at 12:30 in the afternoon. Was the game at 1? If so, those announcers only had 25 or so minutes to compose themselves enough to be professional.

    That would be an incredible position, as a broadcaster, to be put in.

  25. Unstable Isotope says:

    Did they know at the beginning of the game that Harry had died?

  26. John Brady says:

    I was in Washington for the game
    The game started at 3:05
    The fans observed a moment of silence before the game.
    My group got a call on the cell phone that Harry had collapsed at the game while we were parking.
    By the time we got to the stadium (at 2:45) it had been announced he had passed away. The Washington broadcasters(only ones we could hear in DC) were paying a very nice tribute to Harry.
    On another note, don’t prepay for parking at lots T, U, V or W.
    Long walk and cheaper parking closer to the field.

  27. a. price says:

    The Phillies broadcasters did, and it was pretty apparent it was affecting them. most of the game was remembering him, Wheels and Sarge talking about how it could never be the same… Ryan Howard’s first home run (a 3 run shot) almost went unannounced. Ibanez’s single homer after that, i am certain was Harry and Whitey reminding us to play and enjoy the game.