When I was a kid, I could get broadcasts of the Philadelphia Phillies on AM radio.
And while it’s true that maybe the weather had to be right, or I had to point the antennae a certain way, I could – in upstate New York – get Philadelphia’s flagship radio broadcast later at night.
And that brought me the soothing voice of Harry Kalas.
Harry’s soothing voice brought great description of the game, allowing me to feel like I was there. Baseball it truly a sport made for radio, especially when announcers can bring you there.
Harry did that for me.
He was the voice of the Phillies and one who tried to hear as often as I could. But there were other greats – such as Vin Scully.
Honestly, it depended who your team was.
In days gone by, voices were synonymous with a team. If you heard that popular “Holy Cow!” you had to know it was Phil Rizzuto and the Yankees. Ralph Kiner’s “unique” delivery could tell you the Mets were playing. There was Harry Caray, Jack Buck, and Ernie Harwell. Bob Uecker is still delivering in Milwaukee, and Marty Brennaman in Cincinnati.
The list could go on and on. Even some of the newer ones are really great.
But everybody has a favorite and Harry was mine.
Years ago, I was at a Baseball Hall of Fame event where he was the guest. At the end, he took questions. I asked him about doing a home run call because it had been mentioned a few times. He asked my name and before I knew it, I was whisked off to my childhood, listening to Harry calling the came on a small radio.
This time, though, I was the one at the plate.
A 3-2 count was on me and I connected and it was as if I was a kid drifting off to sleep … “That baby’s outta heeeeeere!”
How about you? Who was your voice?