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Voice of the 'Fan

Tribute: Harry Kalas

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Up until a few years ago, I only knew Harry Kalas as the in house narrator for NFL Films. It wasn't until, well, the last decade or so that I found out about his other gig as the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Today, the Phillies, and the sports world in general, is mourning the loss of Kalas, who was found "passed out" in the broadcast booth prior to a game Sunday vs. Washington. While I haven't heard or read of an official cause of death, I have to assume that Kalas suffered a heart attack in the booth.

Harry Kalas first joined the Phillies' broadcast team in 1971, so he had just started his 39th season with the team. The only active announcers I can think of who've been on the job longer are Ralph Kiner (working part-time for the Mets in recent years) and Dodger legend Vin Scully, who started when the team was still in Brooklyn. Kalas, in recent years, began doing commercial voice-over work as well, for Baby Ruth candy and Campbell's Chunky Soup.

One of the most unmistakable voices in sports has been stilled, and we are all poorer for the loss.


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