April 13, 2009: The day we lost “Our Voice.” The infamous day when all of Philadelphia mourned for a man who personified our passion, our team, and our city: Harry Norbert Kalas. I can still remember getting the call from my dad that Harry had collapsed in the Nationals press box as my brother and I were making our way south to Washington D.C. for the game. It was a somber day heading into Nats Park to cheer on our Phightins with the death of a Philadelphia legend, a man who loved the game of baseball so much. I can’t imagine Harry wanting to go out any other way, being able to call the final out of the 2008 World Series, a call that still gives me chills:
“One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count to Hinske. Fans on their feet; rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0-2 pitch — swing and a miss, struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball! Brad Lidge does it again, and stays perfect for the 2008 season! 48-for-48 in save opportunities, and let the city celebrate!”
Although Harry is no longer with us his legacy lives in. From Michael Jack Schmidt to Pat Burrell his classic calls were unmatched. He called the last game at Veterans Stadium and the first game at Citizens Bank Park. Listening to Wheels and T-Mac is just not the same but from 1971-2009 Harry graced us with a voice that filled our homes and those memories will never be forgotten.
A petition, created by lifelong Phillies phan Antonio Jose, to craft a memorial statue for Harry by the fans has garnered more than 20,000 signatures via Facebook catching the attention of prominent realist sculptor Lawrence Nolan. A non-profit group, Dear Harry Inc. has been formed with one mission to promote the funding and execute the memorial for our voice Harry Kalas and present it to the Philadelphia Phillies.
To be a part of this amazing process and to help honor Harry Kalas with a statue go to http://www.harrykalasstatue.com/home.html to donate money and to check the progress of the statue.