Monday, April 13, 2009

R.I.P.



I won't lie, it took a lot of self-restraint to not title this post "He's Outttttttta Heeeerrrrrrrrre" but I thought that it may be viewed by some as callous (no pun intended). It of course was intended as homage, but it may have been a bitter pill to swallow nonetheless, especially seen in big, bright letters. My twisted sense of humor/tribute aside, we all lost a great member of the Phillies and NFL Films family when Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away shortly after 1PM this afternoon.

There isn't much I can say in this space that we all have not already thought about or said, and frankly there are far better and accomplished writers than me out there that can offer far more insight into the life of this baseball legend, so I will be very brief. Simply put, watching and listening to the Phillies will never be the same for me. Harry and the Phightens have been synonomous to everyone who ever heard the man call a game, and there is a part of me that never wants to experience a Phillie hit another home run if I am not in the stadium. Well, that's going too far, but there is no question it will be bittersweet at best (NOTE: Shane Victorino hit one at the exact moment I wrote that, and it was indeed a bit sad).

We lost a legend today, but if there is any solace to be taken in it, know that on some alternate plain of existence, Harry and Whitey are finally reunited in the booth.

You will be missed, but never forgotten, Harry. In your honor, I want to play our loyal readers the moment I waited my whole life to hear. Thanks for everything.





10 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or was chris wheeler fighting a smile every time the camera was on him? Obviously it is a difficult position to be in...to call a game in place of a legend that died only a few hours earlier, literally, in the chair you are sitting in...especially when you don't get along with the guy or when it means you will no longer have to spend half the game interviewing drunken fans in the pavillion deck...but Tom McCarthy and Wheels couldn't hide their jubilation. It was ridiculous...an embarassment to say the least.

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  2. some editing whiz should take all the harry audio from the past 38 years, chop it up into specific calls, and get it ready to announce all future games. This is doable. Sure, it might be weird to hear his final out call from last year when we win the world series again in the future, but I'm sure somebody can overdub the correct year in advance.

    My favorite harry memory showcased The K in a light we didn't often see him in, a drunken light. Anyone who owns or has seen Whatever It Takes Dude(the '93 season video) knows what I'm talking about. Clubhouse celebration, after clinching the NL East title, harry cradles a can of beer in one hand and sways to and fro, serenading the team with High Hopes. Amazing.

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  3. To me, Harry = summer in the car, driving to or from the beach, being lulled to a happy sleep by his calls. So sad.

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  4. Giul, I listened to the game on the internet and McCarthy and L.A. broke down in tears twice in the first five innings. I'll give you Wheels but he is an alien, and disgrace to one at that.

    I actually had a few chances to interact with Harry the K when I interned with the Phils. It was minimal contact but he was always so nice in passing and at the employee picnic. I rode the elevator with him a few times at the Vet and he was a class act with flask in hand. He was steadily hammered but always classy.

    You know what pisses me off more than anything? People outside of the Ill don't know him by name, he is not on their radar like Vin Scully is, or Haray Caray was. Why does he not get the respect these guys get? He was an elite broadcaster for a major market team for 41 years, WTF? I love H.K. and as Dave Montgomery so nicely stated, "the Phillies lost their voice today".

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  5. 1 more thing:

    It is so creepy how things always seem to happen in 3's. First Adenhart, then H.K. and later today The Bird passed away in a dump truck incident.

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  6. I heard a phone interview with the Kruker on ESPN and he could barely speak; heartbreaking.

    I'm going to sincerely miss the man.

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  7. The gaping hole left in Phils games and NFL films are obvious and distressing, but Chunky soup commercials will never be the same either.

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  8. I think, simply put, this man's life can be encapsulated in one sentence:

    "Homerun, Harry Kalas!"

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  9. The man loved his coors orignials, cigarettes and sitting in the booth. I love and will miss him.

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