Legendary sportscaster Harry Kalas died Monday afternoon. He was 73.
Kalas was the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, and was in the press box preparing for the home opener against the Washington Nationals when he was reported to have collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly thereafter.
Kalas has broadcasted Phillies games since 1971.
"The passing of Harry Kalas leaves the Phillies, their fans, our viewers, and sports fans everywhere without a treasured voice and unique personality. Harry set the tone for the Phillies' successes, hopes and triumphs for 38 seasons and fittingly he died where he lived so large - in the broadcast booth at the ballpark. The sports broadcasting business has lost a legend and on behalf of our employees, our thoughts go out to his family,"said
Comcast Sports Group President Jon Litner.
"Comcast SportsNet and the Philadelphia sports community lost a great man today. Harry Kalas was the voice of the Phillies and many of us grew up listening to his legendary calls. It was a pleasure to have him as part of our SportsNet family. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kalas family and the Phillies organization," said Comcast SportsNet Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Monihan."We all liked to imitate Harry when I was with the Phillies and say "Michael Jack Schmidt" and you said the timber in his voice, but it was more than that. Harry was a good friend. There were 16 of us that usually gathered in the winter time and played golf for four days down in Florida and Harry regaled us with his "Hail to the Redskins" time after time. So beyond just the broadcaster with the booming voice, it was a privilege to know him as a friend. Of course I knew he was not in good health having seen him a few weeks ago, obviously saddened by the news but not surprised," said hall of fame pitcher Jim Kaat on a conference call with reporters Monday.
"Obviously he's going to be remembered as the successor to John Facenda, the voice of NFL Films and as so many of the greatest local announcers become, he was more than just admired for his craft, he was a beloved institution in Philadelphia," said sportscaster Bob Costas on a conference call with reporters Monday. "This is a voice that took them from childhood into adulthood through passages in their life, things change a lot, but you continue to follow your club, the personnel of the club, turns over from generation to generation, Harry Kalas is always calling the game, so this is a civic loss when someone like that passes away.
In addition to his work with the Phillies, he was the narrator for NFL Films and served as announcer for Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl franchise.