For many who grew up with the Phillies, Harry Kalas is synonymous with baseball. During his 39 years as the voice of the Phillies, Kalas earned the love and respect of players and fans well beyond the region.
Jack Williams, the founder of Comcast SportsNet, said Kalas was, “my idol when it comes to sportscasters.”
Billy Penn caught up recently with Williams, Action News Anchor Jim Gardner and retired VP/GM of Comcast Spotlight Jim Gallagher to get their thoughts on the man who was the voice of the Phillies for so long (see video below).
Gardner, Gallagher and Williams were at the Loews Hotel in Center City for the Philly Ad Club’s Movers and Shakers Pinnacle Award Honorees Luncheon, where they were recognized for their outstanding achievement in the Philadelphia Communications Industry.
But there was a special recognition for Kalas, whose baritone voice and signature calls like his “outta here” home run were Phillies game staples. He also did the narration and voiceover for NFL Films programs from 1975 through 2008. He died (fittingly) in a broadcast booth in Washington, D.C. prior to a Phillies game in 2009. He was 73 years old.
Gardner remembered Kalas as more than just the voice of the Phillies: “He was our guy… he was the guy who took us all by the hands and said, ‘let’s have this experience [of Phillies baseball] together.’”
Photo courtesy of ChickPhilA via Flickr