Little League International Mourns the Passing of Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcaster Harry Kalas
Harry Kalas, the legendary play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, passed away on Monday night. He was 73.
In recent years, Mr. Kalas had visited Williamsport, the birthplace of Little League Baseball, in support of the Phillies’ New York-Penn League Single-A Short-Season minor league baseball team, the Williamsport Crosscutters.
During those trips, Mr. Kalas, and several Phillies players, visited the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum. In 2008, images of Mr. Kalas were included in an exhibit displayed at the Little League Museum that highlighted the Phillies ties to professional baseball in Central Pennsylvania.
"Mr. Kalas shared a number of personal stories about the Phillies when he toured the Museum,” Janice L. Ogurcak, Director of the Little League Museum, said. “He was interested in Little League Baseball and Softball and enjoyed the displays, particularly the highlights exhibit, which replays video and sports commentary from championship games.
“I was shocked and saddened when I heard about his passing,” Mrs. Ogurcak said. “He, and his distinctive voice, will certainly be missed.”
Mr. Kalas autographed a baseball for the Museum on his last trip to Williamsport.
While visiting Williamsport earlier this year, Mr. Kalas said that he counted calling each of the 548 career home runs hit by Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schimdt as one of his most cherished memories. Mr. Schmidt, admittedly Mr. Kalas’s favorite Phillie, is a Little League graduate and Little League Hall of Excellence enshrinee.
Mr. Kalas had been the radio voice of the Phillies since 1971, and for several years was a part of the Phillies’ television game coverage. Prior to arriving in Philadelphia, he spent six years in Houston, doing radio games for the Houston Astros.
His signature "Its outta here" home run call was among the most recognizable in professional baseball. In 2002, Mr. Kalas was elected to the broadcaster’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Last season, Mr. Kalas was at the microphone when the National League Champion Phillies won the 2008 Major League Baseball World Series. It was the Phillies first World Championship since 1980, which Mr. Kalas also brought to baseball fans over the radio.
Mr. Kalas was equally respected for his coverage of the National Football League. He described regular season and playoff games for the Westwood One Radio Network, and did much of the highlight voiceover work for NFL Films, and Showtime's Inside the NFL.