As many of you already know, legendary Phillies announcer Harry Kalas passed away yesterday afternoon. His voice was the soundtrack of our springs and summers, and many young Philadelphia citizens cannot remember a Phillies game without him.
Kalas was hired by the Phillies in 1971 to succeed Bill Campbell. It took a little while for the city to warm up to the new guy, but soon after, his baritone, leathery voice won the hearts of Phillies fans everywhere.
“It’s going to be very weird now not hearing Harry’s voice anymore,” native Philadelphian Rob Lower, 30, said. “Many of us grew up with his voice. My parents listened to him when I was younger and then I started listening to him. It was almost like he was a member of the family.”
Nichole Rodier, 26, has similar views. “Baseball was my father’s life and I inherited some of his passion for the game,” Nicole said. ” I remember every summer driving down to the Jersey shore with Harry’s voice speaking to us through the car radio. He could increase people’s excitement about the Phillies scoring a homerun through his voice. Those are some very big shoes to fill.”
It’s hard to lose something that you’ve had your entire life. And for many young people who grew up listening to Kalas’s voice, this baseball season is going to be a very different one from all the others that came before.