Harry Kalas, the one of the Phillies game broadcasters for almost forty years, died today at the age of 73, very unexpectedly, one hour before the Phils were scheduled to play the Washington Nationals. They found him unconscious in the press box, tried to perform CPR, and rushed him to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The cause of death is not known at this time. The Phillies went on to play their scheduled game (which really surprised me... I just assumed they would cancel it, given the circumstances, but the game went on as planned with a brief moment of silence beforehand), and beat the Nationals 9-8... I caught the last few innings at the gym. It was a really good game, but I kind of kept listening for Harry's voice... as any Phillies fan will tell you, "Harry the K" had quite a distinct broadcasting voice, particularly, "Struck him out!" and "This ball is OUTTA here!" He also did the broadcasting for The Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. Everybody loved him... he will always be remembered as a great Philadelphia legend.
I'm really saddened and shook up about his passing, for many reasons. It was very sudden, first of all, and very unexpected. I mean, the day after Easter, collapsing in the press box just a few hours before the game (and it was the Nationals' home opening game at that)... but I don't know, in a way, at least he had his final moments in a place he loved.
Another reason I feel so saddened by this loss is because I feel like it's adding salt to an already-gaping wound. For any new or sporadic blog readers out there, my dad passed away in February, and I'm still trying to cope with that on pretty much a day-to-day basis. It's going to be like that for a while, I know, before this feeling passes. But baseball was something that my dad and I had in common. In fact, he's the one who instilled the love of the game in me. I grew up watching baseball games with my dad, he would play wiffle ball and softball with me in the backyard, he took me to my first Phillies game, he encouraged me to play little league (even though I flat-out sucked and it was very obvious, LOL, it didn't change my love for the game). While we certainly had our troubles and differences as I got older, baseball was one thing we always, always shared. And I've grown up watching these games with my dad, and listening to Harry Kalas broadcast them, and in the last two months, I've lost them both. Two great voices that meant so much to me, that I'll never hear again. It's rough... it's very rough. Hearing of Harry's death just makes me miss my dad more, and I didn't even know that was possible.
I'm off to go console myself with new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Yo' Mama. Laughter always helps, ya know? :-) I'll be back tomorrow with some happier thoughts. I'm very close to finishing both of my books, so I'll give reviews, and also my review of a new bar I tried today (well, it's new to me, but I'm sure a lot of you have already had it).
Until we meet again, my dears!