I worked as a professional baseball announcer for nearly 10 years. Along the way, I met the late, great Harry Kalas on several occasions - in press rooms and at media conventions.
(Harry Kalas deserved better from Phillies and MLB)
I know I’m not alone in reporting that it was always a treat to cross paths with the man we all called the “voice of god.” Harry had little-to-no ego, was easy to smile, and always had time to talk to young announcers looking to glean some pearls about the broadcast biz - like me.
In his manner, Harry reminded me of Vin Scully. Stellar on-air work, but just as impressive away from the mic. Adored by all who knew them.
I wish I could tell you that there are a lot of guys like Harry and Vin in the baseball announcing business who are just as cool. But then I’d be lying. So finding out about his sudden, tragic death hit me harder than normal. He was a treasure. Irreplaceable.
That’s why I was somewhat surprised that the Phillies did not elect to postpone their against the Nationals today. Really, I don’t want to compare Harry to Nick Adenhart, but wasn’t it faintly ironic that the Angels postponed their game in honor of the rookie Adenhart, but the Phils and Nats didn’t take a pause after losing a Hall of Famer of that magnitude?
Dave Montgomery? Stan Kasten? Bud Selig? Hello, anybody home?
I have not a care for the Phillies or their fans. In fact, the Phils broke my heart as a kid growing in K.C. - thanks to their 1980 World Series triumph over my Royals.
But the fans and organization deserved better today. Based on the public relations disaster that baseball has become in the past half-decade, you would think MLB would want to celebrate one of its heroes. But sadly, they missed the chance by not pressing the pause button.
Lastings Milledge could’ve damn well waited.