Yesterday afternoon, I came online to write my recap of the Phillies come-from-behind victory on Easter Sunday. Little did I know that at that same moment I'd receive a text message regarding Harry Kalas being rushed to the hospital. Shortly there after, I received another text message that confirmed that he had left us.
I really wanted to put down all of my initials feelings regarding this horrible event, but I just couldn't. Every time I tried to write, I would just delete it, nothing seemed perfect enough to describe what Harry Kalas meant to us as Phillies fans.
Harry Kalas was everything about the Phillies. He was everything about Philadelphia. He had been the heart and soul of this franchise my entire life, and for even much of my father's life. See, our generation tends to take baseball announcers for granted with the adaptation of television. We as kids were generally always able to see the Phils play via a television. As much as Harry meant to us, he will always mean more to our fathers and their fathers. Kalas' dramatic voice always set the stage for a radio as if they were listening to a musical masterpiece. His deep, baratone voice called some of the greatest hits and pitches in Philadelphia and Major League Baseball history. He was baseball in Philadelphia.
From Michael Jack Schmidt to Bobby Abreu to Chase Utley and from Dallas Greene to Terry Francona to Charlie Manuel, there had always been one constant in Philadelphia: Harry Kalas. The man was Philadelphia baseball. The man was something different than life. His voice was the one that healed us when everything else in the world seemed bad from April to October.
When I was a child I didn't wake up every morning looking forward to watching some random cartoon. I woke up waiting for the night broadcast of the Phillies game. I woke up waiting for the voice of Harry Kalas. Baseball is in my blood and many others in the Delaware Valley. Baseball was hope. Harry Kalas was the man who called the greatest pitch of my life.
Nothing and two the count to Hinske. Fans on their feet. Rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0-2 pitch. Swing and a miss! Struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball. Brad Lidge does it again and stays perfect for 2008 season. 48 for 48 in save opportunities for the 2008 season. 48 for 48 in save opportunities and watch this city celebrate.Maybe 2008 was more of fate than anything else. Harry Kalas finally reached the grandest stage and he was able to make the greatest call of his live and many of our own.
Baseball is and always will be America's past time. Harry Kalas will always be one of the greatest and most articulate at describing the game we love most. Yesterday, we lost one of the greatest people to ever grace the city of Philadelphia.
Below is a video posted by The Fightins via Comcast Sportsnet.
CSN Tribute to Harry Kalas from Mike Meech on Vimeo.
And the final home run call and out call of his career:
The Phillies won yesterday's game in honorable fashion for Harry the K with a 9-8 victory over the Washington Nationals. Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino both hit their first home runs of the season, while Raul Ibanez hit his third. Jamie Moyer got the win and Brad Lidge continued his perfection for the save.