In 1971 the Philadelphia Phillies made the best deal the
ever made. They signed Harry Kalas.
Harry Norbert Kalas was born on
March 26, 1936 in Naperville, Illinois. His first shot at broadcasting
was doing minor league games for the Hawaii Islanders. Harry had been
stationed in Hawaii while in the military.
His Major League Baseball
debut came when he called his first game for the Houston Astros on April
The Phillies hired him in 1971 to replace long time broadcaster
Bill Campbell. The fans didn't take kindly to the new man at first since Bill
Campbell was so well liked. But it didn't take long to win them over.
Harry Kalas and Phillies Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn
became one of the most loved and respected broadcast team in baseball.
called the first and last games at Veterans Stadium and also called
the first game at the Phillies new Citizen's Bank Park.
career, he called six no hitters and six National League Championship
Series. He also called three World Series in 1983, 1993 and 2008.
Because of rules at the time, Harry was not permitted to broadcast
the 1980 World Series in which the Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals.
But the Philadelphia fans created such an out cry, that the rules were
The story goes that in the mid 1970s, the Phillies were taking
batting practice before a game. Outfielder Greg Luzinski hit one far over
the fence and short stop Larry Bowa said, "...that one's outta here!"
Harry said he thought that had a nice ring to it so he started using it.
The "outta here call on home runs became Harry Kalas' signature call.
On October 29, 2008, Harry Kalas finally got to call a Phiilie World
Championship moment. "One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count
to Hinske. Fans on the 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 the 2008 season! 48-for-48 in save
opportunities, and let the city celebrate!"
In 2002, Harry Kalas
received the Ford C. Frick Award from Baseball's Hall of Fame. In 2004,
he was named Person of the Year by the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.
Harry was also elected into the Philadelphia Sports Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Eighteen times heHarry Kalas was named Pennsylvania Sportscaster
Of The Year.
In June of 2008, Harry was elected into the National
Radio Hall of Fame.
I almost met Harry Kalas. I was invited to the
annual Richie Ashburn Foundation dinner on May 11, 2009, and asked to
do some artwork for the occaision. They were honoring Harry Kals at the
dinner. I couldn't wait to meet him. Unfortunately, Harry passed away on April 13.
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