13 April 2009


Harry Kalas, the Hall of Fame long-time voice of the Philadelphia Phillies has been called up to the Big League.

He was one of those men who made it possible for us to "see" a ball game on the radio. I grew up listening to the best play-by-play combo in history when Harry Caray, Joe Garagiola, and Jack Buck called the Cardinals games together. After high school, I was not back in a major league city until I attended law school in Chicago--where Harry Caray almost converted me to the (shuddering as he says it) American League.

But in 1988, I came to Philadelphia, and found Harry Kalas. What a joy those past 21 years have been--lots of famine, along with the unbelievable misfits of 1993 who came so close, and then the wonderful 2008 season, all called with joy and precision by one of the greatest.

He was a man of faith, the son of a Presbyterian pastor, and a true gentleman. For me, his most memorable call is not a Michael Jack Schmidt homer or a towering blast by Ryan Howard. When baseball resumed play after 9/11, the schedule was such that the Phillies' game was the first to be played. In his opening comments before the game, broadcast to the crowd and to the listening audience Nation-wide, Harry reminded us that there is so much more to life than baseball and called upon us to treat one another "as He commanded us to do."

So,if you believe that there is baseball in Heaven --and I do--the voice of the Heavenly Choir Nine tonight will surely be Harry Kalas.

He is home.

1 comment:

Rev Kim said...

We thought of you yesterday when we heard the news.

What a beautiful tribute.