The announcer for Phillies baseball since 1971 collapsed in the broadcast booth before yesterday’s game. He also was an announcer on radio broadcasts of NFL games. Seems as if all of my favorite sports figures are dying. But I beleive that Harry passes away in the one place he lover being the most… the broadcast booth at a Phillies game.
Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies who also had a familiar role as an announcer on NFL radio broadcasts and as the narrator of the league’s action for NFL Films, died Monday. He was 73.
Kalas, who punctuated innumerable home runs with his "Outta here!" call, died at a Washington hospital after being found passed out in the broadcast booth just hours before a game between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals.
"We lost our voice today," team President David Montgomery said. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization."
Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971. Before that, he was a member of the Houston Astros broadcast team from 1965 to 1970. In 2002, he received the Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions to the game and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
"Players come and go, but ‘Outta here!’ — that’s forever," said Scott Franzke, a Phillies radio broadcaster, of Kalas’ trademark line.
Over the years, Kalas said he owed the line to Larry Bowa, the former great Phillies shortstop who is now a coach with the Dodgers.
In 1971, Kalas and Bowa stood at the batting cage during spring training watching batting practice. Greg Luzinski hit a long home run, and Bowa said: "That ball is outta here!"
According to Bowa, Kalas turned to him and said:
"That sounds pretty good."
"Until the day he died," Bowa told The Times, "He said, ‘I want to thank you for that saying.’ I said, ‘Harry, you’re the one that made it, with that voice of yours.’ "
Vin Scully, the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame announcer, interrupted his coverage of the team’s home opener Monday against the San Francisco Giants to pay tribute to Kalas, whom he called "a great guy" and a "wonderful broadcaster."
Scully offered his sympathies not only to Kalas’ family and the Phillies organization, but also "to the city of Philadelphia. They loved him and well they should have," Scully said.
Kalas lent his sonorous voice to everything from puppies to soup.
He broadcast NFL games for CBS Radio and Westwood One and was the narrator of the league’s weekly highlights for NFL Films that for years have been a staple on the "Inside the NFL" program, which is now on Showtime after many years at HBO. At NFL Films, Kalas was the successor to another legendary voice, John Facenda.
"There was no act to Harry, no shtick, no clever-voiced cliches. He always gave us a steady blend of humor and honesty," Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films, told The Times on Monday. "We always knew he would make the film better."
Kalas also was the voice for Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials and Animal Planet’s annual tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl competitor, the Puppy Bowl.
Kalas joined the Phillies radio and TV broadcast team in 1971, replacing fan favorite Bill Campbell.
He wasn’t immediately embraced by Phillies fans, despite being paired with Richie Ashburn, a player who was elected to the Hall of Fame and a longtime announcer. But Kalas evolved into a beloved sports figure in Philadelphia.
He and Ashburn grew into a popular team and shared the booth until Ashburn’s death in 1997.
"Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere."
Kalas was born March 26, 1936, in Naperville, Ill.
He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959 with a degree in speech, radio and TV. He was drafted into the Army soon after he graduated.
In 1961, he became sports director at Hawaii radio station KGU and also broadcast games for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League and for the University of Hawaii.
His home run call while working in the islands was: "Tell that ball, aloha!"
Kalas had surgery earlier this year for an undisclosed ailment that the team characterized as minor.
He looked somewhat drawn last week as the Phillies opened the season at home.
Survivors include his wife, Eileen, and three sons. His son Todd is a broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays.
It was such great news to hear that Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maresk Alabama was rescued by Navy SEALs yesterday. I temporarily stationed with a group of SEALs and believe me, those guys were very focused and VERY tough!
The Navy SEALs who ended the pirate-hostage drama off Somalia with three deadly sniper shots began their training on a strip of the beach known as the Silver Strand.
Every aspiring SEAL must pass a grueling six-month regimen at the facility here. Attrition is high: Only a quarter to half make it. Those who do then undergo another six months of advanced training.
Given the elite nature of the SEALs, no one here was surprised at the success of the rescue mission, said Capt. Chris Lindsay, chief of staff to the Naval Special Warfare Command. "We have a lot of confidence in our operators," he said.
One way the SEALs — named for their ability to operate at sea, in the air and on land — winnow out each class is Hell Week, an exercise in which candidates are allowed only four hours of sleep over five days. As Lindsay spoke to reporters Monday, would-be SEALs in mid-Hell Week lugged heavy rubber boats over sand dunes and into the surf.
All SEALs are trained to be good shooters, but the best are selected for sniper training, Lindsay said. "Our guys train, prepare for years. They train for game day."
The Navy has 2,600 SEALs; because of the secrecy that is part of their institutional culture, not much is known about their roles in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two have been awarded the Medal of Honor in those wars, both posthumous.
It is not known where the team that rescued Capt. Richard Phillips is based, although SEALs are assigned to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, the tiny island-nation in the Persian Gulf.
A couple of blocks down the beach, past the Hotel del Coronado, former SEALs were already analyzing the mission over beers at McP’s Irish Pub & Grill, a favorite hangout owned by a former SEAL.
"It was a good show, a damn good show," said Bill, who identified himself as a former SEAL but spoke only on condition that his full name not be used.
The walls of McP’s are covered with SEAL pictures, memorabilia and slogans like the one that is meant to describe their rigorous training:
"The only easy day was yesterday."
And on one wall is a poetic paean to SEAL snipers and their ability to strike without warning:
"Signals passed to set the stage
About surprise these men were sage."
Still waiting for Rascal Flatts songs to be on my download site but here is a Really good one from their CD ‘Me And My Gang’!
Not sure what’s going on in my neighborhood but I hope the insanity picks up soon!! Take care Yall!!