Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment. This one's a pretty easy one for Philly ... in fact, I blogged about it just a couple of days ago. Here's the question: 3.) Tell us about a local news story that's all the buzz right now in your neck of the woods.

If you're from Philly, this is an easy one ... sadly. It's the death of legendary Phillies announcer, Harry Kalas. I think David Montgomery (main mouthpiece of Phillies management) said it best when he said, "The Phillies have lost their voice." Kalas was loved by just about everybody in Philadelphia - in addition to having a golden voice, the man had a golden heart too. He probably never, ever turned down giving an autograph or having a picture taken with a fan. Heck, he even recorded voicemail messages and wedding entrances for total strangers!

All of these are reasons why Kalas was so beloved by Philadelphians. But, a friend at work and I were talking about other reasons why this has hit us so hard. Certainly, because Harry announced just about every Phillies game for the past 38+ years, we relate life events that occurred during Phillies games (at least we sports fans) to Harry and his voice ... if you're not a sports fan, this may sound stupid. But trust me, it's true - the Phillies always seemed to be on TV or on the radio in the summertime when I was growing up ... and I always remember that voice. When I imagine Phillies highlight reel plays it's Harry's voice describing them.

Plus, Kalas never retired. He died AT THE BALLPARK, JUST A FEW HOURS PRIOR TO ANNOUNCING A GAME!!! He died on the job ... but he died doing what he loved doing, and I'm guessing if he had any say in this, he wouldn't have written it any differently. But, had Kalas retired a few years ago, this loss, though still shocking and painful, probably wouldn't have been AS painful. Still, we lost our voice, and even though the game will go on, and I'm sure at some point, another announcer will develop a legendary career whilst announcing for the Phils ... it just won't be the same.

God bless you, Harry the K! In case you want to hear his voice one last time (or for the first time, click here.


Superstar said...

In the words of one of my favorite movies, "He went out with his boots on, that is what is important!" -Secondhand Lions

Great post!

Melissa said...

I just read an article (on Yahoo) about him... sad day for Phillies fans!!

Anonymous said...

It's definitely a sad time for Phillies fans.

Jeff said...

Harry Kalas had a great voice, but he was so much more than that. He was more like a second father to millions of people. Consider:

He spoke to us daily for nearly 40 years, whether we we at home, in the car, at a bar, at the beach, or anywhere else.

He made us feel like part of the team, and made everyone on the team seem like the rest of us.

He commanded respect but didn't demand it.

He wanted only the best for the team -- and for them as people. But he always stayed positive without losing credibility, never spoke an unkind word, no matter how bad things got.

The Phillies could have a funeral procession down Broad Street and attract over 500,000 people. That's what he meant to people.