Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We'll Miss Ya, Harry

Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, passed away yesterday prior to the Phillies game in Washington against the Nationals.

He was 73.

Having spent my life as a sports fan in Illinois, I wasn't able to enjoy Kalas' call on Phillies games, so I missed just about all of his play-by-play live -- except for those nights in the car radio, struggling to listen to 1210 AM back in the days when Phils' games were broadcast on that clear channel station.

I, along with most of the country, know Kalas' work mostly from his time spent as one of the voices of NFL Films. For many years, he provided the highlights of NFL games on Inside The NFL.

I always remember hearing those clips and thinking, wow, how cool is it that this is the man that calls Phillies games.

While he was the primary Phillies play-by-play guy when they won the title in 1980, once the Phils got to the World Series, local announcers could no longer broadcast games, so he never got to do a live call of Tug McGraw's final strike to Willie Wilson.

So, that's what helped make the Phils' 2008 title even sweeter, as Harry was at the mic on the last pitch.

Harry may be 'outta here', but he'll never be forgotten.

CSN Tribute to Harry Kalas from Mike Meech on Vimeo.

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