See those white loafers behind Charlie Manuel from last night’s TBS NLCS telecast? Those belonged to Kalas, who was well known for his selection of bright footwear. (If someone sees Dick Williams or Marty Brennaman puttering around pregame tomorrow, keep an eye on them.)
For those of us who don’t live in the Philadelphia area but still admired the work of the late, great Harry Kalas, here’s the final TV commercial the legendary Phillies broadcaster did before he passed away:
You might actually get a chuckle or two out of the spot - and soon have a hankering for some Super Pretzels. Available in your grocer’s freezer!
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reports that Kalas’ casket will be put on public display at home plate at Citizens Bank Park. This Saturday starting at 8:45 a.m., fans will be able to file past and pay their respects to the beloved broadcaster. The public viewing will be offered for four hours, after which follows a memorial service.
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?
For people who are too young to remember, “The Bird” was the talk of the baseball world in the 1970s, winning the AL Rookie of the Year for the Tigers in 1976 after going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA. But it wasn’t just Fidrych’s wins that made him special: it was how he got them. He was a fidgety, neurotic mess on the field, making Nomar Garciaparra’s pregame hitting routine seem … well, routine. He also showed a love for the game that bordered on childlike and endured him to millions of fans.
To see for yourself, check out this 1985 profile of Fidrych by Steve Stone after the jump:
Kalas was in Washington with the Phillies for the Nationals home opener when he was found passed out in the broadcast booth and taken to the hospital. Details are still emerging on what happened, but all we know for certain at this point is that Kalas has passed away.
Earlier today I posted this and this (and Barry posted this) of Philly fans making jackasses of themselves. Here’s something much cooler. Phillies Hall of Fame announcer Harry “Voice of God” Kalas calls the final out last night (that’s announcer Chris Wheeler flailing around in the background):
Kalas also called the Phils’ ‘80 World Series win over my Royals, and the ‘83 Series against Balto - kinda sorta. Read more…