I didn’t know Harry Kalas. He threw out the first pitch at my little league when I was 10 or 11 and he wore a leisure suit that was, even then, about 20 years out-0f-fashion. Outside of that day I’ve never been in the same room with him.
But, as a Phillies fan, Kalas was a part of my life. His was the voice. It was the voice that welcomed fans at the start of the game and the voice that recited the score after the final out was recorded. “Swing…and a long drive, watch this baby, outta here! Home run <insert player’s name here>.” Those were the words every Phillies fan longed to hear. There was no sweeter sound.
Today is a sad day, but Phillies fans can take solace in the fact that Harry finally got to call a World Series victory. (True, the Phillies won the series in 1980, but network agreements then in place prevented local announcers from calling the World Series games and Kalas and the rest of the Phillies’ radio crew did a re-creation broadcast after the World Series.)
I didn’t know Kalas, but I always felt he loved baseball and loved his job. His was a truly great voice.