Results tagged ‘ Harry Kalas ’
An autopsy revealed Harry Kalas died Monday afternoon from heart disease.
A spokeswoman at the Washington D.C. chief medical examiner’s office told The Associated Press that Kalas had high blood pressure and suffered from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The disease is a major cause of heart attacks and strokes because of plaque buildup restricting blood flow in arteries.
Kalas, 73, collapsed inside the Phillies broadcast booth at Nationals Park and died about an hour later.
The Phillies have just announced the following information regarding Harry Kalas:
Memorial Tribute/Funeral Services
The Kalas family and the Phillies have announced that a memorial tribute for Harry Kalas will be held at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, April 18.
An opportunity to pay respects to the Hall of Fame broadcaster will be given on a first come, first served basis to as many fans as possible from 8:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. At that time, all fans in attendance will be directed to seats for an on-field tribute that will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Additional information will be made public as details are finalized.
Funeral services and burial will be private and held early next week.
Beginning tomorrow, players will wear HK uniform patches for the rest of the season. The black circular HK patch will be located on the front of the jersey in the area of the heart.
The Phillies return home on Friday night to play San Diego at 7:05. The Phillies will also pay tribute to Harry prior to the game. Fans are urged to arrive early. More details will be forthcoming.
I’ve been covering the Phillies since April 2003, my first six seasons with The Philadelphia Inquirer before I joined MLB.com in February. Let me just say that everything that has been written and said about Kalas since he died yesterday is 100 percent true: he was one of the nicest people I’ve met. The man was an absolute legend, but he treated you like a friend — even if he had just met you.
Every day when I arrived at the ballpark and saw Harry, I would simply say, “H!” or “Harry!”
He always responded, “Todd … (insert that famous Kalas pause here) … how are you?”
“Good, Harry. Yourself?”
And he would walk into the broadcast booth or down a hallway to smoke, and I would walk into the press box or into the clubhouse for interviews. But he always smiled when he asked me how I was doing. Always smiled. I don’t think he ever had a bad day in his life. And every once in a while we would be in the press box dining room at the same time and he would say, “Mind if I join you guys?”
Uh, do we mind? Are you kidding?
I read Bob Brookover‘s story in today’s Inquirer about how Kalas came to his wedding. I read Jim Salisbury‘s story about Harry announcing the birth of his first two children on the air. I didn’t have experiences quite like that, but before I left for a good friend’s wedding in St. Kitt’s last summer, Harry and I were taking the elevator from the Citizens Bank Park pressbox to the clubhouse. We were walking toward the clubhouse when I said, “Hey, Harry, a buddy of mine is a huge Phillies fan and is getting married this weekend. If I flipped on my tape recorder could you say a few words to him?”
He stopped walking, put down his coffee, looked me in the eye and said, “What are their names?” I told him and he took it from there, finishing with “I’m outta here!”
It was a hit at the reception.
I told Harry about a week later how much people enjoyed it. He smiled and said, “That’s great. I’m glad they liked it.”
But he didn’t do that for me just because I knew him. He did that for everybody. He never rolled his eyes when somebody asked him to record their outgoing voice mail. He never said no. He genuinely enjoyed making other people happy. He knew the impact he had on people.
I’ll miss him.
Kalas coverage, including stories, video and more, can be found here.
There has been enormous reaction regarding Harry Kalas‘ death today.
Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt: “I was saddened today to hear of the sudden passing of my longtime close friend Harry Kalas. I know I can speak for the Phillies when I say Harry Kalas was loved by everyone. All of us could relate to our daily confrontations with his smile, his charm, and his warmth. He spread his passion for people, and baseball, all over the country for almost 50 years. His voice will resonate in my mind the rest of my life.”
Rockies broadcaster Jeff Kingery: “I saw him yesterday. We were walking out and we said the usual. We always mean it when we say safe travels to one another. We said we were looking forward to seeing each other again in August when the Rockies got to Philadelphia. You mean all that but certainly when something happens like this it brings it home.”
Rockies broadcaster Jeff Corrigan: “One of the things I will always remember is Harry with that unique voice of his would sometimes drag out a guy’s name. When I think of Harry Kalas, first thing I think of is Mickey Moooooorannnndiiiiiiinii. He would make Morandini take about 10 seconds to be said.”
Cubs broadcaster Pat Huges, who produced a Kalas highlight CD: “I just loved the guy. He was somebody I admired as a young man growing up trying to get into the business. I was struck by his voice and how clear and strong it was. Then I realized beyond that, he was really a great announcer. He knew what he was talking about. … He could build the drama in a game. I loved his call of Mike Schmidt’s 500th home run. I loved hearing him do the voiceovers on NFL Films. It was a voice I never got tired of hearing. Everytime I heard it, it sounded fresh and vibrant and good.”
Braves broadcaster Chip Caray: “The thing that makes broadcasters unique is the richness of their voice and their passion for the game. Harry had both of those. When you think of the greatest ambassadors of the game, Harry was certainly one of those guys. The passion he had while calling games for Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and so many other great Phillies players was a real inspiration for young broadcasters, like myself. … When I think of Harry, I think of friendliness and class. When my dad died, he gave me a hug and a handshake that I’ll never forget. He was truly a treasure. He was a mentor and a friend. People will say that the game won’t be the same without him and it won’t.”
Phillies chairman Bill Giles: “Harry was a special friend of mine and my family for 44 years. Baseball broadcasters become an integral part of baseball fans’ families. They are in the homes of fans every day for the entire season. No one will ever be able to match the joy Harry and Richie Ashburn brought to our fans for all those years. He had a great voice, understood and loved the game, and loved people. That’s why I brought him here in 1971. My family and I and all of our fans will always have a place in our hearts for Harry.”
Former Phillies first baseman John Kruk: “It’s devastating. Harry Kalas is the Phillies. The fans lost a friend and we [those who were fortunate enough to be able to spend time with him] lost more than that, we lost a family member.”
Former Phillies closer Mitch Williams: “It was an honor to have Harry call any play I ever made. The fact that he called me Mitchy-poo on air… I didn’t want any one to know about that nickname, but somehow with Harry it was OK. He is probably one of two announcers that you didn’t have to see to know who it was. He was the best.”
Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell: “He died with his boots on, so to speak. I think if you had a choice and God gave you the option, you would take that option.”
Broadcaster Bob Costas: “Obviously he’s going to be remembered as the successor to John Facenda, the voice of NFL Films and as so many of the greatest local announcers become, he was more than just admired for his craft, he was a beloved institution in Philadelphia. I think this is generally true, in an era where players, even great players, come and go the real fixture in baseball is often the local radio voice. That’s the person that links generations to each other that people can say they grew up listening to. Richie Ashburn passed away not too long ago, and now Harry Kalas and you’d have to be, and I’m not saying I would understand this fully but I understand the idea of it from St. Louis or the voices I grew up listening to in New York, people in Philadelphia feel a personal sense of loss right now. This is a voice that took them from childhood into adulthood through passages in their life, things change a lot, but you continue to follow your club, the personnel of the club, turns over from generation to generation, Harry Kalas is always calling the game, so this is a civic loss when someone like that passes away.”
Here is a statement from MLB commissioner Bud Selig:
“Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation. Harry Kalas was an outstanding ambassador for the game, first as an original member of the Houston Astros’ broadcast team in 1965 and, beginning in 1971, as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere. On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I express my dearest sympathy to Harry’s wife, Eileen, and his three sons, Todd, Brad and Kane.”
The Phillies have released a statement on Harry Kalas‘ death:
Hall of Fame Phillies Broadcaster Harry Kalas died today at the age of 73. Mr. Kalas was found unconscious in the Phillies broadcast booth where he was preparing for today’s Washington Nationals home opener. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:20 p.m. Cause of death is unknown.
“There are no words to express the sadness that the entire Phillies organization is feeling with the news about Harry’s passing,” said Phillies President and CEO, David Montgomery. “Harry was the voice of the Phillies, but he was also our heart and soul. He loved our game and called it like none other. The entire baseball world has suffered a great loss today.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
He had been rushed to George Washington Univeristy Medical Center after he had collapsed in the press box less than an hour earlier. Kalas had missed the beginning of Spring Training after recovering from an undisclosed medical procedure.
The Phillies will play the Nationals this afternoon at Nationals Park.
They will not visit the White House tomorrow.
Kalas was 73.
He had been a broadcaster for 43 years, the past 38 with the Phillies beginning in 1971. He was inducted into the Nationall Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the annual Ford C. Frick Award winner.
Here is a story I wrote about Kalas in February, while he was recovering from that medial procedure.
Today is Harry Kalas‘ 73rd birthday.
Update: Spoke to Kalas earlier today.
Me: “Happy birthday, Harry. You broadcasting today?”
Me: “So why are you here then?”
Kalas: “For the love of the game.”
Here is today’s lineup against the Yankees:
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Jayson Werth, RF
7. Matt Stairs, DH
8. Pedro Feliz, 3B
9. Ronny Paulino, C
Carlos Carrasco starts for the Phillies.