Harry Kalas Dies
April 13, 2009 at 3:29 PM (PT)
Hall of Fame PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES broadcaster HARRY KALAS died TODAY after collapsing in the press box at NATIONALS PARK in WASHINGTON. KALAS, the voice of the PHILLIES since 1971, was 73. A cause of death was not announced.
KALAS called the final out of last year's World Series victory by the PHILLIES on CBS RADIO Talk WPHT-A/PHILADELPHIA, the team's flagship, and was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame as the FORD C. FRICK Award winner in 2002.
KALAS joined the PHILLIES after broadcasting HOUSTON ASTROS games in 1965-70; he was also the voice of NFL FILMS since 1975 and broadcast NFL games for WESTWOOD ONE for many years. He started calling minor league HAWAII ISLANDERS games on KGU-A/HONOLULU while in the ARMY. His distinctive voice and delivery put him among sportscasting's elite, and his longtime pairing with the late RICHIE "WHITEY" ASHBURN on PHILLIES broadccasts became a PHILADELPHIA institution. After ASHBURN's passing in 1997, KALAS was paired with CHRIS WHEELER, LARRY ANDERSEN, and GARY "SARGE" MATTHEWS on the PHILLIES broadcasts. He was also known for his voicework for CAMPBELL'S CHUNKY SOUP and on ANIMAL PLANET's annual PUPPY BOWL.
KALAS' son TODD is part of the TAMPA BAY RAYS broadcast team.
"We lost our voice today," PHILLIES President DAVID MONTGOMERY told reporters. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization."
WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS VP/Exec. Producer HOWARD DENEROFF offered the following sentiments on behalf of the entire WESTWOOD ONE family:
We at WESTWOOD ONE are deeply saddened by the passing of legendary broadcaster HARRY KALAS. His imitable voice was familiar to so many, from his play-by-play of the PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES to the drama of NFL Films and the excitement he brought to WESTWOOD ONE’s SUNDAY afternoon NFL broadcasts for more than two decades. We share in the loss of this one-of-a-kind hall of fame broadcaster with millions of sports fans around the world. We send our condolences to the KALAS family and those close to him. He will be missed.
The PHILLIES' game against the NATIONALS today is being played as scheduled, but the team's visit to the WHITE HOUSE, scheduled for TUESDAY, has been cancelled.