A Fan’s Perspective on Harry Kalas

As most of you are aware, Harry Kalas died yesterday.  I know this blog is rarely the place you expect to find anything sentimental and some comments will probably rip me for reflecting on it, but he was just too integral to my summers to let it go by without a nod of appreciation. 

I am not sure that when Jaclyn married me, if she knew how much I enjoyed watching the Phillies.  It was rarely the center of attention, but from Spring to Fall, the game would always be on and if you couldn’t see it, you could at least hear Harry Kalas’ magnificent voice drifting throughout the house. 

I’m not sure if it is a guy thing or a Rob Deem, but I get partial to things and stick to them.  I recently purchased a National Bohemian pint glass on my trip to Fell’s Point and now I try to use that glass every time I need a drink.  Some times I’ll use the Bohemian pint glass for days without washing it because I only drink one kind of beverage (Ice Tea) and at some point I have to wash it because Winston pirates my glass away from me and backwashes like crazy into it.  If that glass is taken, I use my Eagles pint glass.  I don’t switch things up very often, I have my routines, and Harry Kalas was the pinnacle of all heavenly routines.  When Spring was right around the corner, I didn’t care about pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, I only wanted to hear Harry again.  Harry was the ultimate beacon of summer. 

I don’t want you to think that I loved Harry more than the game itself, because I love baseball (and softball!), but it was his constant presence, over 160 times a summer we’d hear Harry for 3 hours at a time, that’s 480 hours or 20 whole days of living with Harry and that was just this year.  Harry has been doing this for every summer of my life.  The very first Phillies game I saw on TV was broadcasted by Harry Kalas.  The incredible 1993 season was broadcasted by Harry Kalas, this year’s World Series run was broadcasted by Harry Kalas, and everything in between.  He didn’t compete with the game, his croaky voice just worked with those hot summer days and it will take awhile to adjust without him. 

What I’ll miss most about him?  I think I will miss how boring he could be during the middle of the meaningless games.  In the middle of August on a 100 degree day, the Phils would be losing and it was so hot you couldn’t move to turn off the TV.  You just sat in a heat induced daze, hypnotized by the game and his voice.  But then the comeback would start and his old voice would gain momentum with each batter that drew a walk or got a hit, and then when the Phils would finally come back to win, he was so energetic, so passionate, so exciting.  I think his ability to be so dry and so calm, the way it took him 3 seconds to say, Vict-turrrr-reeeeenoooooooo, it was just so hypnotizing, like a summer drunkenness, and then he’d rouse you all with his absolutely perfect homerun call as the Phils would pull one out from the jaws of defeat. 

I will miss Harry, I must pay extra care to my National Bohemian glass, I can’t take two losses in one week!


6 thoughts on “A Fan’s Perspective on Harry Kalas

  1. that was an excellent tribute! i really mean it. that should be run in magazines and newspapers. one thing though – who’s the kid? get rid of that picture and give us a picture of Harry!! come on!

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  2. A couple things:1. How about those snipers that killed the pirates? That is the most incredible rescue I can ever imagine. They had to shoot from one boat that was rocking in the sea at another boat that was bobbing along in the sea from 75 feet away. They couldn’t settle for just wounding the priates either, because they had guns and could kill the captain. They had to make sure that they shot just once and each shot had to kill a pirate. One shot was through a small window. We give athletes credit all the time for coming through in the clutch, these Navy SEALS are absolutely amazing. My other thought is actually a question. Anyone ever go to Poco’s in Doylestown? What’s it like?

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  3. Its a random pic of a baseball playing kid. My first thought was to have a picture of Harry, but the loss I was talking about really wasn’t about Harry and what a great guy he was, its about the great loss to the millions of us in this baseball nation. Even this random kid pictured will be affected by the departure of Harry the K.

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  4. Beautiful tribute. I go to pocos. I love their magaritas and pickle pickle (fried pickles). Their food is decent nothing like rey’s but its good. I am acutally going there on the 25 for their comedy show upstairs (it will be my first time). You should come by!

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  5. dude that kid is probably in his mid teens by now, depressed and on drugs with a pregnant high school girlfriend. the only thing he is affected by is hash. now give us a picture of Harry!

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  6. a few years ago i was thinking about becoming a pirate. but i didn’t realize that they actually use guns and hurt people. thats not cool.i figured i would get a sword and live on a boat, grow long hair and a beard and swing from look out towers. then i would battle other pirates for some reason or another. maybe keep stats of how many wins and losses i had. join a Pirate Fantasy League and pick myself first.now it doesn’t seem so cool. not even for Halloween.

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