A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Harry Kalas

How many of us can honestly believe that we enjoy our careers? I’ll bet there’s not many of us out here in the working world that believe that about themselves. During the next few days, the family known as the City of Brotherly Love will celebrate the life of one such man. His name was Harry Kalas, and he was a broadcaster who loved the game of baseball, and loved the fans who supported it. More importantly, he shared that love with all who heard his wonderful voice during the 37 years he called games for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Kalas, who collapsed and died as he prepared for a Phillies game in Washington DC yesterday, probably loved his work up to the very end. Again, not many of us will leave life doing something we enjoy, but there’s a lesson there for all of us - whether you’re a baseball fan or not. We should take as much joy from living this life as we can get, even while we give out as much joy and life as we can give. Harry Kalas’ life is a good example to follow.

Many of us will remember his smoky, sonorous voice, which reminded many of another Philadelphia broadcast icon, John Facenda. The comparison is appropriate, since Kalas followed in Facenda’s footsteps and became the voice of NFL Films for many years. An entire generation grew up hearing his calls of Struck him out! or his trademark That ball's outtttttta heeeeeere! every time a Phillie hit one over the fence. We older fans remember the glorious triumvirate of By Saam, Bill Campbell, and former Phillie Richie Ashburn.

Now there was a grand broadcasting partnership: Kalas and Whitey Ashburn! One giving play-by-play and the other a veritable fountain of statistics and anecdotes about the game. We Philadelphia fans were truly lucky to have these two gentlemen call our games for so many years.

We will miss you, Harry. Thank you for sharing your life and love of baseball with us here in Philadelphia. Our only consolation is that perhaps you and Whitey are together again, side-by-side, calling a game played by all of the other immortals of baseball.

I just hope you’re not stuck calling a Mets game...


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