Monday, April 13, 2009

R.I.P. Harry Kalas, the Voice of Summer

As a lifelong Phillies fan, I can honestly say that hearing Harry the K call a game meant that it was summertime. No school, no homework, just cicadas, run-the-bases and watching the Phils on TV.

There are few better feelings than lying on the sofa on a rainy stormy summer Sunday afternoon and watching the Phils play somewhere sunny and hearing Harry Kalas call the game.

And now that is gone.

Harry Kalas passed away this afternoon, instantaneously silencing summer for good. The cicadas will still chirp for sure, but the unmistakable narration of summer in Philly won't be joining them.

I actually did meet Harry Kalas once. Me and the Sweaty Irishman charged up the steps at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater at the end of an exhibition game to the press box. The windows were open and Sweaty and I stood there in awe, hemming and hawing out our thanks and whatnot. Harry looked bemused and rather than cowering in fear thanked us and shook our hands. That 30 second encounter is a highlight of my sports life.

We'll miss you Harry. Phillies home runs and strikeouts by Phils' pitchers will never sound the same...

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