Lord, please take good care of our friend Harry Kalas
By Bill Smith
Harold Norbert “Harry” Kalas was the Voice. His was a voice that sports announcers would have sold their soul to have. As famous as he was for both his baseball work and his voice overs on NFL films, he was gracious to everyone he met.
I had the distinct honor of meeting him at O’Hare in the early 80’s. Despite waiting to pick up his bags and having things to do, he stopped and talked to an ordinary fan about sports. When I told him how much I enjoyed his work, he seemed almost embarrassed and made a joke about developing his technique and his one of a kind home run call. It surprised me since I was sure he had received thousands of complements from those far more expert than me. We talked about the difference between doing TV and radio. Having done some radio color myself, I told him how easy he made play by play seem. His chuckle warmed up the room.
That was the only time I ever had a chance to meet him but even that brief contact sticks in my memory like it was yesterday. His easy manor and warm smile made him a joy to talk with. He died yesterday where and how he would have wanted—in a ball park press box getting ready to do a Phillies game. When I first heard he had passed, I couldn’t help but be thankful that he was there to make the call as the Phillies won last year’s World Series. I can imagine how much that meant to him. I just hope he knew how much he meant to all sports fans.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002. He made every game he worked more enjoyable. If there is baseball in Heaven, Harry will be calling the game. If not, he will probably organize a league. I can almost hear him now calling a home run by Babe Ruth. “It is outta here.” We will miss his extraordinary ability to call a game.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]