Monday, April 13, 2009

RIP Harry Kalas 1936-2009.

Harry Kalas Passes away at age 73.

WASHINGTON (AP)—Longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who punctuated innumerable home runs with his “Outta here!” call, died Monday after being found passed out in the broadcast booth before a game against the Washington Nationals. He was 73.

We lost our voice today,” team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. “He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization.”

Kalas was discovered by the Phillies director of broadcasting about 12:30 p.m. and taken to a local hospital, Montgomery said.

Kalas had surgery earlier this year for an undisclosed ailment that the team characterized as minor. He looked somewhat drawn last week as the Phillies opened the season at home.

Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971. Before that, he was a member of the Houston Astros’ broadcast team from 1965-70. In 2002, he received the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions to the game.

“Players come and go, but ‘Outta here!’—that’s forever,” said Scott Franzke, a Phillies radio broadcaster.

Kalas lent his sonorous voice to everything from puppies to soup. He did work for NFL Films, was the voice for Chunky Soup commercials and Animal Planet’s annual tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl competitor, the Puppy Bowl.

Kalas will be missed. In addition to Philies baseball he also called football on the radio for westwood one. Admittedly I am not a baseball guy so I do not know how good of a baseball announcer he was but I do know the folks in Philadelphia loved him. His voice and delivery didn't not work as well for calling football live but as a narrator for NFL films he was outstanding. He also was the narrator for Prime Sports' (Now Fox sports network) weekly Big 8 football highlight show and narrated the the 1993 Nebraska football highlight film. RIP. Mr. Kalas.

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