Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Death Of "Mr. Baseball"


You know, with all of the posts that I had scheduled for these past few days, I almost forgot that a Philadelphia legend departed from this life earlier this week. If you're not from Philly, New Jersey, or Deleware, Harry Kalas might not mean anything to you... but, for those of us who are, his death earlier this week at the age of 73 was like losing a friend.

From the time I was 13 up until now, I can't ever remember listening to a Phillies game on the radio without hearing his familiar "Swing... hit... ohhh boy... that baby is outtttttaaaa herrrrrre!" There's not a Philadelphian alive who hasn't heard that and known that it was veteren sportscaster Harry Kalas.

Harry was on the airwaves when you were a teenager with your portable radio tucked under the covers so your parents wouldn't know that you were still awake and wanting to hear that score. Harry was on your car radio when you ducked out of that wedding reception and flicked it on to hear if we were winning or losing. Harry was at the beach (Atlantic City or Wildwood), as you sat in the hot sun watching the waves, chowing down on a hot dog, and quaffing a cold one while you listened to the Phillies win or lose. My Favorite Harry Kalas moment was the first night my wife and I were in our new house...

In the mid-summer of 1993, the Phillies were playing in the World Series against Toronto and Harry Kalas was calling the play by play... "Ball two... uh oh... Swing... hit... Oh my Godddd, thaat baby is outtttttttttaaaa herrrrrrrrrrreeeee. Grand slam... I don't believe it!" I didn't want to believe it either. It was a Toronto hitter who hit a grand slam on us and ended our World Series run. I didn't even bother to watch the guy run the bases. As soon as Harry said "ouuttta herrrre", I turned the television off. My wife said, "Is the game over?" I just frowned and said, "Pretty much."

Thousands of Philadelphia fans, sports figures, and other dignitaries paid their final respects to the legendary "voice of baseball" yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. They say that a man is alive as long as someone remembers him. Well, to everyone in the tri-state area, Harry Kalas will always be alive then. He will never be "Outta Here".

In Memory of Harry Kalas
March 26, 1936 -April 13, 2009

23 comments:

SLC said...

Great post Keith. I had heard of his passing earlier in the week but didn't make the Philly connection at them time. My baseball voice was that of Phil Rizzuto since I'm a Yankee fan. Growing up with these unique voices makes them even more irreplaceable.

For the record, I was rooting for the Phillies that year, but Joe Carter....well....you know.

James Perkins said...

We All Remember Harry...

Sean said...

I remember Harry...Baseball coverage won't be the same without him

Jazzy said...

Great Post, Great Tribute

Grover Tha Playboy said...

He did a few National Baseball Broadcasts that were covered in other cities..I heard of him..He was one of the originals..He will be missed.

Tate2 said...

I grew up listening to that guy!

Swaggie said...

I loved Harry Kalas...When I listen to a game now, it's not going to sound the same.

Simon Bastion said...

I must admit...Not being from Philadelphia..I had not heard of him..but your post gave him life!

Captain Jack said...

I was never the sports fan..However, my ex loved sports and I remember Mr. Kalas's voice from the hundreds of games I was forced to listen to. Great post Keith.

Toni said...

Rest in Peace Harry. Good Post Keith.

Angie B. said...

Good Post Keith..I was never a Baseball fan, but my dad is ,and I always remember the sound of Harry Kalas's voice when he had the game on.

Brenda said...

Heyyy Keith...I am so enjoying your blogs..even if thjis is a subject matter I can't comment on..Sports-lolol.
I like the way you write about it just the same.

Cheryl said...

Harry Kalas, Phil Rizzuto...All of the legends of sportscasting are slowly fading away. I know you heard that John Madden retired last week.

Lisa said...

My Father and my uncles were sick last week when they heard that Harry Kalas died..They loved him.

Halo said...

Happy Sunday Keith!

Vanessa said...

I'm a big sports fan and a Phillies fan as well...I'm really gonna miss Harry.

Sunflower said...

Not The big sports fan, yet I like the way you write about it.

Keith said...

@SLC- Joe Carter- Yeah, I know, you know I do...lolololol.

I remember Phil Rizutto too!

Kofi Bofah said...

Very interesting that he died right before calling another Phils game...

Keith said...

@Kofi- Yeah..I think that's how he would have wanted to go..On the job!

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

Never heard of him but this was a nice tribute.

Opinionated Diva said...

Nice tribute...lol @ you shutting the TV off and ready for bed right after Harry gave the news!

I haven't been a fan of baseball since the mets won in 87? 88? But he sounds like a legend that will definitely be missed.

Angel said...

I dont know much about your sports but Hi Keith, hope you are doing well x




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