Harry Kalas Collapses in Broadcast Booth and Dies; Voice of Phillies and NFL Films

Baseball, Harry Kalas, Phillies

Harry Kalas dies; voice of Phillies and NFL Films

harrykalasThe announcer for Phillies baseball since 1971, Harry Kalas collapses in the broadcast booth before a game. He was known nationwide as an NFL narrator.

From Staff and Wire Reports

1:11 PM PDT, April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies who also had a familiar role as an announcer on NFL radio broadcasts and as the narrator of the league’s action for NFL films, died Monday. He was 73.

Kalas collapsed in the broadcast booth just hours before a game between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals in Washington.

“We lost our voice today,” team President David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. “He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization.”

Kalas was found by the Phillies’ director of broadcasting about 12:30 p.m. and taken to a hospital, where he died, Montgomery said.

Kalas had surgery earlier this year for an undisclosed ailment that the team characterized as minor. He looked somewhat drawn last week as the Phillies opened the season at home.

Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971. Before that, he was a member of the Houston Astros broadcast team from 1965 to 1970. In 2002, he received the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions to the game.

“Players come and go, but ‘Outta here!’ — that’s forever,” said Scott Franzke, a Phillies radio broadcaster.

Kalas lent his sonorous voice to everything from puppies to soup. He broadcast NFL games for CBS Radio and Westwood One and was the narrator of the league’s weekly highlights for NFL Films. He was the voice for Chunky Soup commercials and Animal Planet’s annual tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl competitor, the Puppy Bowl.

Kalas joined the Phillies radio and TV broadcast team in 1971, replacing fan favorite Bill Campbell.

He wasn’t immediately embraced by Phillies fans, despite being paired with Richie Ashburn, a hall of famer as a player, and longtime announcer. But Kalas evolved into a beloved sports figure in Philadelphia. He and Ashburn grew into a popular team and shared the booth until Ashburn’s death in 1997.

“Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere.”

The son of a Methodist minister, the Naperville, Ill., native graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959 with a degree in speech, radio and television. He was drafted into the Army soon after he graduated.

In 1961, he became sports director at Hawaii radio station KGU and also broadcast games for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League and for the University of Hawaii.

He did his first major league broadcast in 1965 for the Astros.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Win a Playoff Game Before a Record-Breaking Crowd and Vin Scully at Chavez Ravine


Associated Press

Dodgers Beat Phillies, Fight Way Back Into NLCS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -Tired of getting brushed back in the NL championship series, Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers came out ready to fight their way back against Philadelphia.

Blake DeWitt’s bases-loaded triple off Jamie Moyer capped a five-run first inning, and the feisty Dodgers beat the Phillies 7-2 on Sunday night to trim Philadelphia’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The benches and bullpens emptied moments after Los Angeles starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a pitch over Shane Victorino’s head, with an angry Ramirez barking at the Phillies during the dustup.

But there were no punches or ejections, and the Dodgers played with poise all night.

Kuroda pitched effectively into the seventh for Los Angeles, which will try to even the series Monday night. Game 1 loser Derek Lowe, working on three days’ rest, will face Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton in a matchup of right-handers.

Kuroda buzzed Victorino in the third, apparently an attempt to retaliate for Philadelphia’s Brett Myers throwing behind Ramirez in Game 2.

Plate umpire Mike Everitt immediately warned both teams. Victorino shouted at Kuroda while pointing at his own head and upper body as if to say: “It’s OK to throw at my body, but not my head.”

Victorino grounded out to first baseman Nomar Garciaparra and then exchanged words with Kuroda near the bag. Both dugouts emptied and the bullpens followed, but no punches were thrown and there were no ejections.

Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa and Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes appeared to be two of the angriest participants in the near-scuffle, yelling at each other before the teams cleared the field. Ramirez also came in from left field to bark at the Phillies and had to be restrained by teammates, manager Joe Torre and an umpire.

Myers threw behind Ramirez in the first inning of Game 2 on Friday, and Los Angeles’ Russell Martin was brushed back as well. The soft-tossing Moyer hit Martin with a pitch in the first inning Sunday night, and reliever Clay Condrey knocked down the Dodgers’ catcher in the second.

Martin was hit by another pitch in the seventh, by Chad Durbin, drawing a boos from the crowd and prompting Ramirez to climb to the top step of the dugout, but he took first base without incident.

The Phillies and Dodgers don’t have a recent history of animosity, unlike Boston and Tampa Bay, the ALCS participants. The Red Sox and Rays have played two peaceful games in their series after a nasty brawl in June.

The Phillies and Dodgers have played 11 times this year including eight in the regular season, with the home team winning every game. And the Dodgers’ 23-9 record at home after the All-Star break was the best in the majors.

Kuroda, a 33-year-old rookie making just the second postseason start of a career that includes 11 years in the Japanese Central League, gave up only five hits and two runs with one walk and three strikeouts before being relieved by Cory Wade with two on and nobody out in the seventh. Wade retired the next three batters to end the inning.

Kuroda worked 6 1-3 shutout innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Cubs in the division-clincher Oct. 4. He was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Phillies during the regular season, allowing four hits and two runs in 13 innings.

The 45-year-old Moyer, who became the oldest pitcher to start a league championship game, lasted only 1 1-3 innings for his shortest outing since July 4, 1998 and gave up six hits and six runs.

The Dodgers had a 1-0 lead by the time Moyer had thrown five pitches on singles by Rafael Furcal, Andre Ethier and Ramirez. Casey Blake singled in another run before DeWitt lined a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner to clear the bases and send the towel-waving, blue-clad fans at Dodger Stadium into a frenzy.

The Phillies got a run in the second on Ryan Howard’s leadoff double and a two-out, RBI single by Pedro Feliz, but Furcal hit Moyer’s first pitch over the left-center field wall to make it 6-1.

Moyer’s night was done after he retired Ethier on a fly to center. Six of the 11 batters Moyer faced hit safely, and he also hit a batter.

Nomar Garciaparra, making his first start of the postseason, hit a two-out, RBI single off J.A. Happ in the fourth to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 7-1.

The Phillies didn’t have a base runner after Feliz’s second-inning hit until Chase Utley doubled to start the seventh. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell followed with singles to make it 7-2 and chase Kuroda. Wade worked out of trouble by striking out Jayson Werth before retiring Feliz on a fly to center and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs on a grounder to short.

Utley drew a two-out walk in the first for his fifth free pass in six plate appearances dating back to Game 2, and was thrown out trying to steal with Howard batting. It was the first attempted stolen base by either team in the series.

Ramirez, who entered with 18 hits in 53 at-bats 10 homers and 20 RBIs against Moyer in his career, raised his postseason RBI total to 72 – eight shy of Bernie Williams’ record. Ramirez also walked twice and flied to right.

The announced attendance of 56,800 – 800 over listed capacity – was the largest crowd in Dodger Stadium history. Tiger Woods was a guest in Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s box, wearing a Dodgers cap and NL West division champions T-shirt.

Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the last time the Dodgers won the NLCS, shutting out the New York Mets 6-0 in Game 7 at home. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series, beating Oakland in five games. This is the first time they’ve advanced past the first round since that time.

Notes: Moyer, who turns 46 next month, became the second-oldest pitcher to start a postseason game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The oldest was Jack Quinn, who was 46 years, 99 days when he started Game 4 of the 1929 World Series for the Philadelphia A’s. … The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Steve Garvey, Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, who made up the Dodgers’ infield for a big league-record 8 1/2 seasons and played in the World Series in 1974, 1977, 1978 and 1981 World Series. … Martin stole second in the seventh for the first steal of the series.


LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers finally responded Sunday to perceived bullying tactics of the Phillies with an emotion-charged 7-2 victory in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, which was interrupted by a benches-clearing standoff in the third inning.

complete postseason coverage

Blake DeWitt capped a five-run first inning with a bases-loaded triple off Jamie Moyer, who also allowed RBI singles to Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake. The Phillies answered with a run off Kuroda in the second on a double by Ryan Howard and RBI single by Pedro Feliz, but Rafael Furcal homered on Moyer’s first pitch in the bottom of the second.

Benches and bullpens cleared shortly after Kuroda threw behind the head of Phillies leadoff hitter Shane Victorino with two out in the top of the third inning, triggering a warning to Kuroda and both clubs by plate umpire Mike Everitt.

Everitt interpreted the pitch to be retaliation for Phillies reliever Clay Condrey knocking down Russell Martin with a pitch at his chin in the bottom of the second inning. It was the second knockdown this series of Martin, who also was hit by a Moyer curveball in the first inning Sunday.

Hiroki Kuroda, who triggered the confrontation with a retaliatory purpose pitch, allowed one run over six-plus innings, another clutch postseason start after he beat the Cubs in the clincher of the NL Division Series last weekend.

The New York Yankees Finally Find Their Soul in the Middle of the Dog Days of Summer

August 18, 2008
Yankees 15, Royals 6

Yankee Home Runs Help Mussina Overcome a Shaky Start

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi
frequently refers to himself as an optimist. That posture has been
tested the last three weeks, as the Yankees floundered while nearly
playing themselves out of the wild-card race.

Girardi hoped that the Yankees’ untidy 13-inning victory on Saturday
might be the start of something. The Yankees often have not measured up
to Girardi’s positive outlook, and things certainly did not look good
Sunday when the Royals scored three runs off Mike Mussina in the top of the first inning.

But Alex Rodriguez and Xavier Nady homered in a six-run first, and Jason Giambi
added a grand slam in the second — all off Kansas City starter Brian
Bannister — as the Yankees rolled, 15-6, for their first series victory
since taking two of three at Boston on July 25-27.

Four Yankees homers overcame a shaky beginning by Mussina, who gave
up hits to four of his first five hitters to trail, 3-0. Billy Butler’s
broken-bat double drove in two runs. But Mussina allowed only two more
hits, and no more runs, in his six-inning stint to improve to 16-7.

Rodriguez, who finished with five runs batted in, homered to the
entrance of Monument Park to tie the game. With two out, the next four
Yankees combined for the cycle to produce three more runs.

Nady sliced a home run off the right-field foul screen. Robinson Canó
singled and, by running hard on contact (something he does not always
do), scored on José Molina’s double to left. While Canó slumped in the
dugout gasping for breath, Brett Gardner — who delivered the
game-winning single in the 13th inning on Saturday — hit a run-scoring
triple to right center. Both Canó and Gardner slid in ahead of
off-target throws, Gardner headfirst.

The first inning took 35 minutes. And so did the second inning, exactly, though the Royals did not score.

Derek Jeter, who had four hits, opened the Yankee second with a single. Bannister walked Bobby Abreu
and Rodriguez before Giambi homered into the bleachers in right-center.
Bannister gave up two more singles, to Nady and Canó, before Kansas
City Manager Trey Hillman pulled him.

Rodriguez tacked on run-scoring singles in the third and the seventh.

Royals reliever Jeff Fulchino drilled Jeter in the upper left arm
with a 1-2 fastball in the seventh. Jeter, in pain, walked to first,
but stayed in the game and scored on Abreu’s double. Cody Ransom,
pinch-hitting for Giambi, added a two-run homer in his first at-bat as
a Yankee.