SBD/Issue 145/Franchises

Phillies To Launch Extended Tribute To Kalas At Friday's Game

Phillies To Have Moment
Of Silence For Kalas
The Phillies tomorrow night will honor late broadcaster Harry Kalas during their game against the Padres, the first game at Citizens Bank Park since Kalas' death Monday, according to Andy Martino of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Kalas' sons Todd, Brad and Kane will "throw out the ceremonial first pitches," and Kane will sing the national anthem. The first half-inning of the game on CSN Philadelphia "will feature no commentary" and an "extended moment of silence" for Kalas. All fans in attendance "will receive an 8-by-10 color photograph of Kalas," and during the seventh-inning stretch, a video of Kalas singing "High Hopes," his signature song, will be shown at the stadium. Kalas' signature will be "displayed on the field during the seven-game homestand beginning tomorrow," and throughout the homestand, a "black drape will hang in front of the Phillies' radio and television booths, and the Phillies' flag in Ashburn Alley will be at half-staff." A circular "HK" patch has been sewn onto the "front of the Phillies' jerseys and will remain there for the entire season." The Phillies also will name the TV booth at the ballpark the Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth, joining the radio booth, which is named for Kalas' former partner, late Phillies broadcaster Richie Ashburn (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/16). A billboard honoring Kalas "will be displayed on the outfield wall" for the rest of the season, and after every Phillies home run, his "Outta here!" call "will be played over the public-address system as the Liberty Bell lights up" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/16). In Philadelphia, John Gonzalez wrote, "It's sad and impossible to accept that Harry won't call another game. But he can still serenade us, and what a comfort that would be" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/15).

NEXT STEPS: In Philadelphia, Paul Hagen notes the Phillies "haven't announced how they'll revamp their broadcast rotation to cover for Kalas, who did the first three innings on television, the fourth on radio, took two innings off, and then finished the game back on TV." For now, Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy "will do all nine innings as the play-by-play man, with Chris Wheeler working the first three and last three innings as the color commentator and Gary Matthews the middle three." There is "no indication whether that's the permanent plan, although it wouldn't be surprising to see that setup for the remainder of the season" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/16). Also in Philadelphia, Frank Fitzpatrick writes the Phillies are a "franchise looking for a face," and they "haven't faced this kind of problem in at least 60 years." If the team stays in-house, McCarthy, who joined the team last season, "seems a logical choice" to replace Kalas. McCarthy is a "little too chatty for some but long on likability," though he "hasn't yet been exposed enough here for fans to have formed solid opinions or connections" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/16).

ENDLESS PRAISE: The DAILY NEWS' Hagen wrote Kalas was a "genuine, largely uncomplicated man who loved baseball and loved people." Hagen: "Sadly, they don't seem to make them that way very often anymore" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/15). SI.com's Peter King wrote Kalas was a "classy, personable guy who never thought the game or the story was about him." King: "I thought it was great that he took his last breath doing what he loved to do -- broadcast a baseball game" (SI.com, 4/14).

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