We Will Miss You, Harry

DSCF5990 Kalas.jpg

The Phillies and the world of baseball lost a legend today in Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Harry Kalas, 73.  I was at Nationals Park when it happened, unaware of the events going on above me in the broadcast booth.  When I saw the tribute photo on the scoreboard right before the game and realized what had happened, my heart sunk.  Looking quickly at my cell phone which I had apparently left the ringer off, I saw the 8 missed calls from people trying to reach me so I would not be shocked by the news.  But I had been wandering around the ballpark for 2 ½ hours at that point, and since I never looked at the phone, I had no idea.  I sat down in my chair and cried, and much to my own surprise, I was not able to stop.  By the 4th inning, the Nationals fan next to me finally decided to try cracking a few jokes to see if I would snap out of it.  I tried to distract myself by taking photos, but I just couldn’t shake it.

Jenn & Harry K.jpg
The Phillies won the game, but I do not remember most of what happened.  Harry had been with the team since 1971 and I just kept thinking, I was born in 1972 and had been listening to this man literally my entire life.  To me, he was baseball.  Not only that, but I have had the great privilege over the last four years or so to have occasionally spent time with Harry, talking about baseball and listening to his stories.  I keep thinking about the last time we spoke this past January after an award dinner, when I teased him about his terrible smoking habit again; and again, he smiled and told me , “I know, I know.”  I keep thinking about all the stories I am never going to hear again; I’ll never hear his signature, “It’s outta here!” or his famous rendition of “High Hopes.”  I thought of Harry as a friend, as did nearly anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.  But that was just Harry; he made even the most casual fan feel like you had known him forever.  The man had a big heart and you could feel it when he entered a room.

P4088520 Kalas.jpg
I had a very long two hour car ride home tonight where I tried desperately to drown out the voices in my head and fight back tears, but I am still at a loss.  I know Harry would not want us to be mired in sadness, but how can we not.  Harry touched the lives of everyone he met and anyone who ever heard his voice; baseball will never be the same without him.  The world will never be the same without him.  I try to tell myself that death is a part of life in which we will all someday share; that there is another Angel looking down upon us.  But none of these things will bring comfort right now to the heavy hearts of all who knew Harry.

My heart goes out to Harry’s family and friends.  Let us grieve for today, and tomorrow, celebrate a life that will never be forgotten.  We will miss you, Harry.

Photos by Jenn

7 Comments

So sorry to hear about Harry Kalas’ death. My prayers go out to his family, the Phillies organization, and fans (and bloggers!). May he rest in peace. He died a WS champion. Godspeed. Tough week for baseball.

By greg1969 on April 13, 2009 6:41 PM

Jenn – I am so sorry for the the entire Phillies Family. The baseball Gods have not been to kind to us fans taking three of our own home in less then a week. God Bless all of you. I will keep you in my thoughts and fans.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Tough week for baseball indeed. Broadcasters like Harry Kalas become part your daily routine, part of your life, part of your family. God bless him, his family, friends and fans.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Jenn – I was in disbelief yesterday when my husband called to tell me this; initially I didn’t believe him. I think I said “Are you serious?” or something like that. How the players kept their composure during that game is beyond me. Harry was a true treasure, and a wonderful person. We will all miss him.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Thinking about you and the rest of Phillies fans worldwide during this sad time, Jenn. Keep your head up. The memories will be there forever and Harry would want us to remember those good times as we move forward. My heart goes out to you.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

This is a very sad time for fans everywhere in baseball. I can’t believe this has happened. It’s so hard to deal with. But look at it this way, Harry is finally with his best friend again. God Bless you and his family. He will be greatly missed.
Michelle
http://goodgamesandcuteplayers.mlblogs.com

Thank you everyone for your thoughts! A rough week, indeed.

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