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Harry Kalas RIP.

April 13, 2009

He is and always will be one of the all time greats. In my 10 years in Phildelphia and 13 years elsewhere Harry was the only member of the media any team I’ve ever been around, accepted as a true member of the team.

For the 10 years I was in Philadelphia Harry was the only member of the media ever allowed to ride on the players bus. He was in the truest sense of the meaning, one of us. He was as close, if not closer, to some members of the team than other teammates.

In addition to the professional accolades he was one of my all time favorite people. I had the privilege and honor of sharing some great and personal memories with Harry throughout my time in Philadelphia.

If you were to put a Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia sports up, Harry would have to be one of the four faces on that mountain.

Personally speaking I can honestly say that hearing Harry’s voice as the ‘call’ on some of my professional accomplishments is an all time memory and incredible honor I’ll be forever grateful for.

Harry you will be greatly missed as someone who never “swung and missed! Struck him right on outta there”

God Bless and Rest in Peace

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:03 pm

    Thanks Curt. I knew you’d have something to say about Harry’s passing, I came here just to see your tribute. He will be missed more than I can express.

  2. David permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:06 pm

    RIP…. great broadcaster.

  3. April 13, 2009 4:17 pm

    Schill, I know that you meant a lot to Harry and vice versa. I am sorry for our loss, and as someone who knew him well, also sorry for our personal loss. Harry the K was Philly baseball and he always will be. Thank you so much for what you said and may Harry R.I.P.

  4. Jason permalink
    April 13, 2009 5:07 pm

    Curt,
    I was a high school freshman in the fall of 1993. Every school night, my parents, good parents that they were, made me complete my homework assignments before I was able to watch TV. Despite coming from a family of die-hard Philadelphia sports fans, the night of Game 1 of the 1993 NLCS was no different. While I tried my best to complete my work before the first pitch, it didn’t quite happen. Though TV may have been off-limits while doing my homework, the radio was not. What a break for me. Of course, you know how that game started, with you striking out the first five Braves you faced that night. I’ve seen the highlights since but the indelible image I will always carry with me is the privilege of having heard Harry call the first inning of that game. We’ve come so accustomed to vision as a primary sense to experience events, we can forget how powerful a sense sound can be. The timbre of Harry’s voice and the roar of the crowd coming across the airwaves that night as you sent the top of the Braves lineup back to the dugout with their bats on their shoulders is a moment I’ll never forget. While I imagine that watching your performance alone that night would have been an unforgettable experience, experiecing through the unimitable voice of Harry Kalas, the voice of baseball to generations of Philadelphians, made it all the more special.

  5. MandM permalink
    April 13, 2009 5:40 pm

    RIP Harry, you’ll be truly missed.

  6. DrJeff permalink
    April 13, 2009 5:51 pm

    Mr. Kalas was one of the best and he will be greatly missed, but like all the great voices before him and after him, future generations will have the opportunity to hear again and again the great calls from a great man. RIP Harry Kalas

  7. April 13, 2009 6:02 pm

    Harry the K made it special to be a Phillies fan. I remember I saved a cassette tape of the Kalas call of Mike Schimdt’s 500th HR – gave me chills every time I played it

  8. michael permalink
    April 13, 2009 6:08 pm

    it will never be the same in Philly….thanks Harry

  9. danny-o permalink
    April 13, 2009 6:12 pm

    rest in peace Harry, the city of Philadelphia will not be the same without our voice.

  10. Jeff Mills permalink
    April 13, 2009 7:00 pm

    I lived in Philly from 1977-1979 and my house was a block from The Vet. I was very fortunate to have been there during the golden years of the Phillies of the late 1970s. Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn were my heroes and as a kid I wanted to be a baseball broadcaster. I used to play Wiffle Ball in the yard and imitate Harry Kalas as I imitated a major league ballplayer. Today I saw the news and all I can say is that I’m still in shock. Thank you, Harry, wherever you are for the memories and I know you and Whitey are up there in heaven now sharing a cold one and a smoke while rooting for the Phillies.

  11. April 13, 2009 7:17 pm

    I lived near Philly in 2007, and was lucky enough to catch some Harry Kalas during that time.

    Meanwhile, Mark Fidrych also died. Lots of baseball loss today.

  12. ryan permalink
    April 13, 2009 8:30 pm

    all class curt , all class

    phillie fans are hurting tonight and there isnt much more to say

  13. Lowell RIckert permalink
    April 14, 2009 12:58 am

    Curt,
    Thanks for the kind words! You are a very classy person. I know Harry took such pride and enjoyed being a part of that memorable 93 season as well as last season’s championship!

    He will be missed by Philly fans and sportsfans in general!

    Gone, but never forgotten!

  14. Michael Grillo permalink
    April 14, 2009 8:26 am

    In 1993, I misjudged how long it would take me to get home and ended up listening to Harry in a Wawa parking lot while Curt opened the game by mowing down what felt like 213 straight Atlanta hitters. It’s a moment that I’ll remember forever, and it’s why Baseball is great.

    Unfortunately, I think the day of guys like Harry is gone. Media empires want spice and boom-shocka-locka antics, not two guys just enjoying themselves and the game…

  15. george permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:34 am

    Curt, I knew you would sum things up well for Harry the same way you did when Richie Ashburn and Vuke passed..

  16. sdl1 permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:28 am

    In the 70s, I had a friend from school who was a Phillies fan (from Philly, his family moved up there for job-related reasons) and there’d be times when we’d be out cruising at night and he’d manage to pull in WCAU-AM (this was in Newton)on his car radio and I’d hear Kalas calling the action. In those pre-ESPN/Internet/MLB Network days, it was like a new discovery to hear out-of-town games and hear guys other than Coleman and Martin. Kalas is up there with Chuck Thompson as two of the best non-Sox announcers.

  17. Andy Tosti permalink
    April 14, 2009 12:57 pm

    Curt,
    I am 45 years old and been a Philadelphia fan my entire life. Phillies baseball will never be the same. I’ve always been a fan of yours Curt and knew you would have kind words to say about a great man!
    Harry and Whitey together again!
    RIP HARRY!

  18. Erik permalink
    April 14, 2009 3:11 pm

    Curt- always love your blogs and your knowledge…..Harry will be well missed….
    Yesterday was a sad day not only in Philly but anywhere across the country where someone was able to have the pleasure of listening to a baseball game or a NFL game that was called by the late great Harry Kalas. I am almost 30 and I don’t think there will ever be a time again where I will enjoy a Phillies game the same. There will be no more “outta here” when someone goes yard. When the Phillies were at the bottom of the barrell, u looked forward to Harry and Whitey calling the game and goofing off together for 2 hrs. Not only will his voice will be missed but also his knowledge and his relationships that he held in the city of Philadelphia….he was apart of everyones family young and old in some way. The greatest call I’ve ever heard was when he called Michael Jack Schmidts 500 homerun…… It truly is a very sad day in the world of sports.
    Thanks for the memories Harry!!!

  19. April 14, 2009 8:39 pm

    Curt,

    I Have been a philly sports fan since the age of 5 I was always a fan of yours Nice tribute to Harry he was Phillies baseball watching the phillies won’t ever be the same again. RIP Harry your gone but certinly not forgotton.

  20. April 14, 2009 9:51 pm

    Curt, great post.

    Harry Kalas will be missed. Watching Phillies baseball isn’t going to be the same. RIP.

  21. Tony trümp permalink
    April 15, 2009 10:07 am

    Curt, knowing your disdain for most sports media guys thanks again for a little insight tn why hk was éndeared like the phanatic. Life was a párty when you could be fantastically rewarded and do your profession stoned everyday.

  22. Donna permalink
    April 16, 2009 7:22 am

    Curt,
    I was not able to hear you on the radio live Monday,because my father had serious surgery that day and I was at the hospital,but I did finally have the chance to hear what you had said,on tape,this morning. It is sometimes hard to find the right words to say about another human being but when you spoke of Harry Kalas,you could not have been more perfect. You spoke so eloquently,as you always do,of a great human being and gave total insight into your relationship with him as well. Between your words on the radio and your words written here,you gave a beautiful,moving tribute to a man who shall not be forgotten. He has left a void that can never be filled. My thoughts are with you and with the many others who mourn with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts,as you always do,and I apologize for my delay in not responding sooner.

  23. Rich permalink
    April 16, 2009 3:26 pm

    He was the best! His ‘special’ calls will always be remembered!

  24. Ronn Daign.ault permalink
    April 16, 2009 6:47 pm

    Curt:

    Thank you for the kind words. I remember when you had your 300K, Harry arranged to be on the air (even though it was not his inning) just to make sure he called that historic strike out. There is one thing that people who are not from the Philly area, may not know. People would often ask Harry to be the outgoing message on their phones and Harry never said no. (I still have it on mine)

    Again, thanks Curt and RIP Harry the K!!!

    He has High Hopes!!!

    Ronn Daignault

  25. April 17, 2009 8:52 am

    Curt,

    Thank you for sharing this from a player’s perspective on how Harry was one of the team. It always seemed that way just by listening to his passion, but it’s great to hear it from your side. This has been an awful week. I feel as though a close family member died. After Monday’s initial impact, it’s slowly settling in as reality now. I don’t know how to be a Phillies fan right now. I watched the beginning of last night’s game and not hearing Harry was excruciating. (Not to say that Tom McCarthy isn’t doing an exceptional job in a very unfortunate situation)

    I just wrote my own little tribute to Harry, regarding how a number of us as fans – and by extension, family – are dealing with this loss. If you’ve got some spare time in your new retirement, I’d love if you checked it out in my attached blog.

    Thanks for writing this Curt. Harry will be sorely missed, but would want us to go on for the love of the game. And thanks for all you’ve done over your career. Enjoy retirement, and here’s to you making the Hall in 2012!

    Peace,
    Alan Atchison

  26. paul permalink
    April 18, 2009 8:11 pm

    Curt:

    Harry was one of a kind. He understood that the fans are what makes this game so great. I guess Cataldi and Eskin did not ride on the team bus when you were in Philly!

  27. April 20, 2009 8:48 pm

    I have lived in the Philadelphia area most of my 41 years. Harry’s voice was always a part of the soundtrack, whether I was high on baseball or I wasn’t. Suddenly he’s gone and it’s like a chunk of me is gone, something that I had taken for granted for so long. Harry’s passing breaks my heart. I don’t know what else to say.

    I’m sure he thought very highly of you too Schill. God Bless.

  28. Becky R permalink
    April 24, 2009 1:35 pm

    What you said about Harry just reminds me why you have always been my favorite baseball player. Nothing but class.

    RIP Harry K. Phillies games will never be the same.

  29. Irene permalink
    April 28, 2009 12:20 am

    Hello Mr. Schilling! I loved the opportunity to read your tribute to the great Harry Kalas. I’m one of those eeevil NYY fans (j/k) but I did spend 4 years near Philadelphia for college — this overlapped with when you were pitching for the Phillies, BTW. I wound up listening to Phillies games on the radio just to hear Mr. Kalas. I still can’t believe such a classic voice of the game (well, two games, baseball and football) is gone. I also still miss Jack Buck and the “Murph”, Bob Murphy. I feel grateful, though, that I did have the chance to appreciate the talents of such men, nefore they left this world.

  30. May 27, 2009 10:00 am

    Curt,
    Thank you for this kind tribute of one of the greatest non-Orioles announcer ever to call a ballgame.
    I was only 2 during the Phils’ magic ’93 season, but I can still hear Harry calling Mitch ‘Wild Thing’ Williams’ division-clinching strike out of Bill Pecota.
    RIP Harry! I’ll never forget you!

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