As we continue closer to an entire year without "the voice". I am going to post my favorite memory of Harry. Harry was too great to have just one, so I have 1 and 1A.
It was March 20, 2002. My wife and I had brought our four month old daughter to Clearwater, FL to Spring Training to see the Phils. We had just witnessed Bill Conlin’s fat ass squeezing out of a convertible in the parking lot, so I was hoping for something to make me forget about that horrible sight. As we walked into Jack Russell Stadium, it seemed different than the regular season, way more relaxed. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. As we made our way down to the field, players began to wave and smile to my Michelin Man tire legged baby. Brandon Duckworth, so busy with sucking on the field, even stopped before going into the dugout. Past him, was the greatest broadcaster in Phillies history sitting on the field giving an interview. After the interview, he made his way to the edge of the field. Kids and autograph hounds rushed passed us towards him screaming his name. I also made my way towards him, with my daughter in one hand and a baseball in the other. We stood back and waited. Harry signed every baseball, paper and item that was handed to him. As the crowd thinned down to a few, he glanced up to us and finally waved us down. Finally, it was just us and Harry. He asked my daughter’s name and talked to us as if we had known him for years. He asked if that was my wife sitting about fifteen rows back, I said yes and he said to her, “What a beautiful little girl” in that unmistakable voice. I began to tell him how much I admired him and how he and “his Royal Whiteness” had made up the best broadcast team ever. I then said that congratulations on being elected into the Hall of Fame and wished that Whitey was there to see it. Harry thanked me and stated that I was the first person to say that to him that day. He then said, “Goodbye Erin”, and signed my ball, Harry Kalas HOF 2002. It was the only ball that he had signed that way all day.
My second Harry story is pure “Harry and Whitey”. The 1989 Phils were one of the worst teams in baseball history. I had trouble sitting through some of the games, I can’t imagine sitting through all of them like they had to do. As true Phil’s Phans know, during rain delays, they would show the previous year’s video yearbook. I always loved seeing them. They were always well done and even during BAD years, there were enough highlights to make me smile. Sometime during the 1990 season, there happened to be a rain delay, and on came the 1989 Phillies video yearbook. As stated before, this was a bad team! At one point they were doing a montage of “Whiteyisms”, and as it ended, came a moment that I will never forget. During an inning, during a game, an actual game, there was Harry and Whitey singing “On the Way to Cape May”. To this day, any time I think of it, it cracks me up.