“Swing and a long drive … watch … this … baby! … OUTTA HERE!”
Harry Kalas started calling Philadelphia Phillies’ games in 1971, the year that I was born. Today he died in the broadcast booth, a couple hours before the game against the Washington Nationals.
Back in the days before cable TV, most home games weren’t televised. (OK, if that first sentence didn’t make me old, that last one did.) I grew up listening to games on the radio. I still do today, only now the radio travels over the Internet as opposed to the literal airwaves.
Kalas had a way — especially clear on the radio — of speaking more slowly and deliberately the more exciting the action got on the field. He was a low-key guy who was a master of building drama.
Everyone over the age of nine in Philadelphia can do an impression of Harry Kalas. And everyone from age nine to 99 will miss The Voice.
Harry Kalas leads the crowd in singing High Hopes, a Phillies and Kalas tradition.
No one has lost yet.
The Red Sox and Mariners
Are tied: for one day
Runs, hits, men on base
Steals, walks, triples, double plays
A poem in stats
And a favorite from last year:
April’s still chilled air
Is the prefect medium
For a hanging curve.
The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies opened baseball’s 2009 season yesterday. They lost, 4-1, against the Braves. To quote Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, “It’s Game 1. Geez, we’ve got 161 left.”