One year ago a mass of Phillies fans descended upon Nationals Park to see our boys take on Washington. We all entered that game preparing to come out with heads high after a road win, instead, we left with our heads low after an unexpected loss.
Harry Kalas’s passing shocked and surprised most baseball fans. Calling the game just the night before, what happened in Washington was inconceivable to most fans. The 2009 season was supposed to be a glorious one for the Phils, this was not in the script.
Kalas represented (and still does to many) all that was Phillies baseball. A class act since the day he arrived, he treated every player and fan he ever met with the utmost respect. He called every game he worked as if it were the first game he ever did.
Teaming up with Richie Ashburn for the bulk of his time here, Kalas provided the summer soundtrack for many of us, and now we must not be sad that we cannot make new memories with his voice calling the games, but cherish the lines he blessed us with.
The type of announcer that Harry was is a rare breed anymore. The combination of unique voice, love for the game and passion for his team is hard to find these days. Some days we may think to ourselves after a great play, “Wow, how would Harry have called that?!”. The fact that we find ourselves asking that question shows that Harry will live on with Phillies fans forever.
I can still remember that April afternoon at the ballpark and the shocked yells from grown men when the PA announcer passed on the word that our beloved voice of the Phillies had passed. As a single tear rolled down the cheek of a man beside me, he and I embraced in a hug. We exchanged not a word, for none was needed. Our voice of an angel was now just that, an angel himself.