Passing voices

Harry Kalas died today. The long-time broadcaster for the Philadelphia Phillies passed out in the booth before this afternoon’s game. He was to Philadelphia what Herb Carneal was to the Minnesota Twins. He also was the voice of NFL films.

Like Carneal before him, Kalas was one of the last great baseball broadcasters, the kind kids listened to on the fading-in-and-out AM radio after they were supposed to be asleep.

Kids don’t listen much to baseball on the radio anymore, and they usually go up to bed after mom and dad, anyway. The connection between the radio play-by-play person has mostly been lost, and many of them are recycled players anyway, not the person who spent time crafting his/her skills (Yeah, I’m talking about you, Ken Harrelson).

Every baseball market had one. In the northeast, we had Curt Gowdy and Ned Martin. My cubicle mate, Chris Roberts, grew up with Ernie Harwell and George Kell.

West Coast fans still have a legend. Vin Scully is still calling games for the Dodgers.

Update 5:43 p.m. – Another icon in baseball passed today. Mark Fidrych, one of the great characters of the game, was found dead under his pickup truck in Massachusetts.

  • jon

    I grew up listening to Harry Kalas doing the Phillies games on the radio. Whenever i hear his voice it takes me back to that time in my childhood. He will truly be missed!

  • Amy

    I grew up listening to Bob Uecker calling games for the Brewers. The local country station the radio in the barn was set at broadcast the games. Hearing Brewers baseball on the radio immediately brings me back to milking cows on hot summer nights.

  • Jason

    Denny Matthews has called Royals games since the team started playing in 1969. He’s a legend, but one who gets little press. Little makes me happier than to be driving home to Kansas and find a Royals on Radio broadcast somewhere in Iowa.

  • Steve Kuncio

    Thanks for posting the video of Harry calling the last out of the World Series. I grew up in eastern PA. I was never a Phillies fan but the combination of Harry Kalas and Rich Ashburn doing the games was outstanding!