Results tagged ‘ Todd Kalas ’

PSWA Banquet 2010

On Monday night, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association held their 106th annual awards banquet in Cherry Hill, NJ.  The PSWA honors athletes in every sport around the Philadelphia area.  The event is usually hosted by the great Harry Kalas, but sadly, he is no longer with us.  This same event last year was the last time I spoke with Harry.  This year, the PSWA invited his son, Todd Kalas, who spoke with great affection and admiration about his father.  I have video of the speech that you can watch below. 

The photos below show the empty seat that was left in Harry’s honor right next to the podium, Todd Kalas speaking and a friend of Harry’s who sung “High Hopes.”PSWA Harry.jpg

The tone of the banquet was still very upbeat and in usual PSWA style, many great athletes and coaches from the area were honored in grand fashion.  The Phillies were awarded “Team of the Year” which was accepted by Charlie Manuel and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. accepted the award for “Executive of the Year.”  Former Phillie and current advisor, Dickie Noles was given the “Humanitarian” award and Von Hayes was there also as a guest.

The next set of photos are of Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr., me with broadcasters Scott Franzke and Tom McCarthy and Phillies PA announcer, Dan Baker.

PSWA Phillies.jpg
The following video shows speeches from Todd Kalas, Amaro and Manuel.  Note the “jokes” about the Cliff Lee trade; Amaro playfully blamed it on Charlie.  Sorry Ruben, I fail to see the humor.  Ok, don’t get me started on that…here’s the video:

http://www.facebook.com/v/285597867858

There were plenty of other sports icons in attendance, including the 76ers Willie Green who got the “Good Guy” award, Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Eagles player Brent Celek who was named the “Outstanding Professional Athlete” of 2009:

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We also heard from Andrew Bailey who was given the “Native Son” award; Bailey grew up in the Philly area and won Rookie of the Year for the American League in 2009 as the closer for the Oakland A’s.  Ruben asked who his agent was and tried to steal him away…no success I’m afraid. 

The MVP of the Army Navy Game, Ricky Dobbs, was also honored as well as Jay Wright, head coach of Villanova basketball, Fran Dunphy of Temple basketball , the 1960 Eagles and many others.  The full list of honorees can be seen at the PSWA web site.  I also put together a Photo Album from the event which shows many of these people as well.

The highlight of the night may have been comedian Joe Conklin who does impressions of his favorite Philly sports figures.  His Cole Hamels impersonation is hysterical.  Take a look:

http://www.facebook.com/v/286085147858

And finally, here is clip of a program that will air this Thursday at 11pm on 6-ABC Philadelphia.  The show is about the Phillies Off-Season and will include some photos that I took during the 2010 Phillies Cruise last month :O) 

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=wpvi&section=&mediaId=7254158&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&site=

If you live in the Philly area, set the DVR or tune in at 11pm on 2/4/10.

Photos by Jenn

 

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Beautiful Tribute, Ugly Game

How do you blow a 6 run lead?  Just ask the Phillies.  No doubt, it was an emotional day for all of us in Phillies-land, as Harry Kalas was remembered before the game and pictures and video of Harry were shown in the park between innings.  Kalas Tribute.jpg

His three sons threw out the first pitch and Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  There were numerous salutes to Harry around the park, including the memorial outside the 3rd base gate at the Mike Schmidt statue.  Schmidt was also in attendance at the game and caught one of the pitches from Harry’s sons as did John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins.

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With all the emotions flying about, it just made you wish even more that the Phillies could have pulled this one out for Harry.  I suppose it was just not meant to be.

The game began for me with multiple bad omens, which I happily ignored as the Phillies jumped to a 5 run lead in the first inning.  I was hit in the head twice before the game even started, and not by a baseball. 


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A man above me in the handicapped section actually dropped his 4-foot metal walking brace on my head; what he could have been doing up there to make this happen, I have NO idea.  One minute, I am in my seat reading, the next minute, I am almost knocked unconscious.  After I regained some semblance of lucidity, I handed the metal rod of death up to him; he said he was sorry and that was that.  No one even came over to see if I was ok.  Unbelievable.


As I rubbed my head, now nursing a major headache, another foreign object whacked me in the back of the head, in the same spot!  I looked up and saw a Comcast employee winding up one of those 1 inch thick TV cables, which is what got me the second time.  This jerk did not even blink; he said nothing, pulled the cable away and left!  As you may imagine, I was quite woozy at this point.  I just sat there dazed and confused and, seriously, you won’t believe what happened next.  Some idiot looking for his seat backed up into my row and stood on my foot while he looked around.  He did not move until I lifted my leg and physically removed him from my foot!  I got a very lame, “oh, sorry” as he wandered off.  Clearly, this was not my day.

The game finally began and the Phillies jumped off to 5 run lead with a Chase Utley 3-run homer and a Chris Coste 2-run double.  Perhaps these bad omens were just some sick cosmic joke?  By the 4th inning, the Phils had a 6-run lead.  How could they possible blow this, especially on Harry’s day?  Well, I’ll tell you how; pitching and managing.  Cole Hamels began to self-destruct in the 5th inning, giving up a 2-run home run to the Padres Scott Hairston.  He also allowed 2 more hits and a walk in that inning and was due to bat 2nd in the line-up.  So, did Charlie Manuel remove the tiring Hamels for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th?  Nope.  And then he sent Hamels back out for the 6th inning where, as I fully expected, he continued to give the game away; another 2-run home run, just like that.  Now the score is 7-5.

The offense slept through the next few innings as the pen held the Padres down, but then came the 8th inning.  Ryan Madson, who based on last year, appears to be a VERY slow starter, gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk, blowing the save and giving the Padres an 8-7 lead.  This was a disaster and man, did my head really hurt after that.  Greg Dobbs gave us a little hope as he led off the 8th with a single; Rollins bunted him over but then Shane Victorino popped out.  Utley tried to play hero by whacking a single into left field, but then 3rd base coach, Sam Perlozzo, killed the rally by sending the VERY slow Dobbs home, where he was promptly tagged out. 

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Matt Stairs ended the game in the 9th by striking out looking, but to his defense, the last 2 called strikes did not look to be anywhere near the strike zone.


So besides my getting beat up at the game, another Phillies fan had a very similar day; before the game and before the Kalas boys threw their first pitch, an elderly man was invited onto the field to throw a pitch as well.  Just as the announcer told the crowd that this 82-year old man was very brave for attempting to walk out onto the field, obviously because of his health, at that exact moment, this poor guy tripped on the yellow rope the grounds crew laid down for their pre-game preparations and fell flat onto the ground, losing his shoe in the process.


A very scary moment for all of us as we watched him lay there, but he was able to get up with assistance and did still throw the ball, which went about 2 feet.  It was really something to see him even attempt this after such a terrible fall.  Kudos to that fan for toughing it out!  I do hope is okay.  Sorry, I did not catch his name in all the craziness, but I wish him well.man falls on field.jpg


This was a very sad day for the Phillies and their fans all around.  Spirits were lifted though for a while during the 7th inning stretch when all 44,984 people in attendance were invited to sing along to “High Hopes” with Harry Kalas one last time.  The video played on PhanaVision as we all joined in.  It was a beautiful tribute, as I am sure the memorial service will be today as well. 

As promised, here is the photo album from the Harry Kalas tribute on Friday and the game.  There are two pictures that I think you should all see;  Jimmy Rollins was holding Harry’s favorite white shoes and Chase Utley held his blue jacket while Kane Kalas sung the National Anthem.  I think those shots really sum up the week. 

Photos by Jenn

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