Tag:Harry Kalas
Posted on: April 13, 2009 7:21 pm
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a part of my childhood died today with Harry...

on this sad day....

wow, where to start?  i found out at about 2:30 or so when i logged onto cbssports.com and saw that yellow "Breaking News" box at the top of the screen...as i read it, i had the same exact reaction i had that day in September 1997, when i logged onto the Yahoo! home page and saw the headline about Richie Ashburn dying: i literally just gasped really loud, like my breath got taken away...ive been watching the game off and on today, and even with them talking about it, and showing clips, i dont think it's sunk in yet...

i love baseball, and i love the Phillies, and ive been a huge fan ever since i first got into sports when i was like 8, but i gotta admit, watching the games, and listening to them on the radio, just hasn't been the same for me since Richie died, and i think it'll be even worse now...i grew up listening to Harry and Richie calling games...it was one of the things that signified summertime to me...i remember playing baseball or home run in our backyard, or on Atari or Nintendo, and when we hit a home run, we'd do Harry's "Outta heeeeeeerrrrrree!" call...or me and Dan, my best friend growing up, would do our own version of his Mike Schmidt home run call whenever Schmitty would seemingly always pop up in a crucial situation: "Pops-him-up, Mich-ael Jack Sch-midt"...one of my favorite calls was his call of Schmitty's 500th home run...another one was the call at 4:40 in the AM one July day in 1993, at the end rain-delayed doubleheader, when the Phillies won, "On a game-winning hit by Mitchie-Pooooooo!!"...there were so many, though...

i'm just glad that Harry actually got to call the World Series win last year...a lot of you may not know this, but even though he was the play-by-play announcer for the Fightin's in 1980, he didn't actually call any of the games due to baseball's broadcasting rules at the time, which forbade the team's announcers from working postseason games (an idiotic rule which was later changed, in large part due to Harry not being able to call the Series)...and it's hard to believe that when he first came here in 1971, before he was the voice of the Phillies, he was unpopular with fans, because he was the guy who replaced Bill Campbell, another legend (still with us) in Philadelphia sports...when NFL Films lost John Facenda, known as "The Voice of God", if there was anyone who could come close to filling his shoes, it was Harry Kalas...

like i said before, listening to Harry and Richie call the Phillies games was a BIG part of summer for me...just the back-and-forth they had in the booth, especially when they'd do the trivia question...it was always great when the answer would be Richie...it's usually go something like this:

Harry:  This player led the National League in batting in 1955.
Richie:  How 'bout that Stan Musial?
H:  IN-correct.
R:  How 'bout that Duke Snider?
H:  Again, IN-correct.
R:  How 'bout that ME?
H:  Correct Whitey, you led the National League in hitting in 1955.

Then Richie would tell some story about his playing days...the two of them announced for some BAD Phillies teams, but they always made you want to watch...i miss that so much...this sucks....

anyway, i started a new tradition in the Ashburn League (the fantasy league that im commish of) last year (which was borrowed from the Red Sox) of posting the beginning of "The Green Fields of the Mind", by Bart Giamatti, on the last day of the season:

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone. "

thanks for everything Harry...you will be missed... 

 

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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