Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering a beloved sports broadcaster...


I've temporarily had the wind taken out of my sails, kiddos. For two reasons:

1. I burned my hand yesterday when I was making tea. I managed to pour the tea into the cup without incident, but putting the lid on the cup posed a problem. Of course, since I'm right-handed, the burn is conveniently located--where else?--on my right hand. Sigh. So it kinda hurts to do stuff...like write or type. Aloe lotion is my best buddy today.

2. Longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas died yesterday. It's hitting me hard, 'cause he was one of those guys you just think will always be around. Whenever my parents and I would be driving home from a Sunday afternoon Phillies game (we typically left in the eighth inning or so, in order to beat the traffic), we'd be dependent on good ol' Harry to keep us in the loop as to what was happening with the game. We liked hearing that a Phillies closer "struck 'im OUTTT!!!" to win a game (that always made the car ride home so much more fun!). For Phillies fans, we're so used to hearing his voice because it's always been there (at least for people my age, and for a lot of people my parents' ages, too) and sounded as if it would always be there. He was that voice on the radio, that guy who made "swing and a miss!!!!" and "...that ball is OUTTA HERE!!!" familiar to Phillies fans. We expect to hear these things when we tune into Phillies broadcasts. We like hearing these things. And now we'll be hearing these sorts of things from someone else. It's gonna be really weird... I'm at least happy that he got to see the Phillies win another Series before he went, you know? I guess now he and Richie Ashburn are up there in baseball heaven, doing play-by-play together...

For more of my thoughts (more organized than the thoughts in this blog entry, to be sure) on the passing of Harry Kalas, check out the latest post on my baseball-related blog, The BILF Report.

Today's random baseball-related Red Pen, Inc. entry (oops, we barely touched on grammar in this post--there's an apostrophe error, but that's the least important thing going on here, y'know?) is dedicated to Harry Kalas and all the Phillies fans who enjoyed listening to his broadcasts. (This is the sort of thing that makes me more homesick for Philly than usual. Most people in NY, where I presently live, don't have any knowledge of the impact this broadcaster made on the Phillies organization.)

I'm in a rather introspective (and kinda burnt) mood for the time being, but I'll be back tomorrow with more grammar goodness and (hopefully) a hand that is less injured than it is right now.

16 comments:

LadyStyx said...

*HUGZ* hope you feel better soon.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks, LadyStyx. :)

mama grammarphile said...

Love you, Sweetie. *hug* Your post on The BILF Report made me cry. Your Red Pen post made me cry. They both made me reflect on how much baseball was always a part of our family life. I still remember your face when we took you to your first Phillies game when you were five years old. It makes me happy that you still have a love for the game. I cherish the memories of all the games we attended together.
I hope your hand feels a little better today.

Laura Payne said...

Yesterday certainly was a sad day for baseball...Mark "The Bird" Fidrych died too. I am not familiar with Harry Kalas but Mark Fidrych was one of my favorite Tigers as a child (I still have his autograph in my memory box).

Winona said...

Been there, too - I thought Jack Buck would always be around, would always be the voice of the Cardinals... and he passed several years ago. My mom taped his funeral (televised from Busch Stadium, of course) and sent it to me so I could watch it. I didn't cry then... but a few years later, when we saw a Cards/Cubs game at Busch, they played a tape of Jack singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from Wrigley - and I lost it.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Mama Grammarphile: *Hugs* right back atcha! I'm sorry my posts made you cry, but I'm so happy you enjoyed reading them. Baseball games have always been one of my favorite things to do with you guys, and I have so many fond memories of us at baseball games...from being very young and hanging out at the fence at the Vet hoping to meet players who were not as jerky as Von Hayes, to meeting up with Pop-Pop at our old Sunday seats, to ALS Nights spent squealing about BILFs, to celebrating the first World Series win I've ever seen. I'm very lucky that my parents brought me up in the church of baseball on Sundays when I was young. :)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Laura: Yeah, I heard about that! I guess trouble really does come in threes (three deaths of members of the baseball family, all in one week's time). I'm sorry one of your favorite ballplayers is no longer with us. :(

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Winona: Wow. Yeah, I would've lost it, too, in that sort of situation. I'm sure I'll react similarly when I hear someone playing back one of Harry's calls or famous catch-phrases.

k-bro said...

I am so sorry about the passing of Harry Kalas. I love the great voices of baseball, and he was one of the best. This is devastating for Phillies fans.

I can relate to your feelings. A few years ago, Twins fans lost their great radio voice, Herb Carneal. And to this day, it's just not the same without him.

Cherish your memories of Harry.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I'm definitely cherishing my memories of Harry. Last night I listened to him call last year's World Series win...it made me smile. :)

I'm sorry about Herb's passing, too. No matter who they got to replace him and how talented that broadcaster is, there's a certain something--nostalgia, perhaps?--that just cannot be replaced.

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Great post about Harry K. on the Bilf Report. Couldn't have said it better myself.

He IS the Phillies' voice and will always be remembered as such. Simply irreplaceable.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thank you, Proofreader. :) And you're absolutely right--Harry the K is simply irreplaceable.

ChicagoLady said...

I heard about the passing of Harry Kalas, and thought about you, knowing you're a huge Phils fan.

The Cubs are still looking for that special someone to replace Harry Caray in the booth. Not sure if it will ever happen. And on the radio we have Ron Santo, but he's been battling diabetes for so long, you never know how much longer he has. That will be another sad day in Chicago.

It's hard when any well-loved player or announcer passes.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thanks for thinking of me, ChicagoLady. At least our respective sports broadcaster Harrys don't have to be alone in Baseball Heaven! :)

Dave said...

Excellent post...although I never heard a broadcast made by Harry, I can definitely see how important he was both to the game AND the fans. I'll have to read your BILF Report post later...I'm sure it is a worthy tribute to Harry Kalas..

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Thank you. :) The BILF Report post is a lot better than this one, actually--I was in a really rambly mood when I wrote this, and the BILF Report post is much better written and organized.