Allen Iverson and Brian Dawkins are on my Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons. The final two belong to one franchise, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Harry Kalas, “Harry the K”
Harry Kalas was the voice behind Phillies baseball up until he passed away in 2009. His voice and home-run calls are mocked today by some of us and even used throughout the stadium during games.
When you think of the Phillies, Harry Kalas is a name that pops up every time. He is the Phillies.
Kalas started his broadcasting days in 1971 when the Vet opened its doors. He would share the mic with Richie Ashburn, Hall of Famer for the Phillies.
The two would create one of the best duos in broadcasting history and they’d be called “Harry and Whitey.”
Kalas is one of the most respected announcers in baseball history. His golden voice, personality, enthusiasm and passion made him so great at his job.
He was always ready and well prepared for everything. He made the song “High Hopes” a song for Phillies fans to sing after every win.
Kalas wasn’t just the voice of Philadelphia, he also worked with NFL Films, Campbell’s Soup and Notre Dame Football for some time. But everyone knows him as the “Puppy Bowl” announcer.
Kalas was behind the mic for the greatest moments in Phillies history. Mike Schmidt’s 500th home-run call, Steve Carlton’s 300th win and the 2008 World Series call, his final curtain call.
I remember that call like it was yesterday and mimic it every day as if I were in that position. He wasn’t just a broadcaster, he was a people person as well.
He would talk with the fans, emcee banquets or weddings and even record for your answering machine.
Kalas was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as an Announcer in 2002.
He is the one of the greatest voices behind baseball and the greatest behind Phillies baseball.
We can recall his most famous calls in our lives. “Outta Here,” “Chase Utley, you are the man,” and of course, “the 0-2 pitch, swing and a miss…”
Those are just a few of his famous calls and even though we lost our voice in 2009, Kalas lives on forever in our hearts. That is why he has made it on my Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons.