What was Harry Kalas' best call?

Posted: April 15, 2009

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

There's a poll on Philly.com, and I thought we might as well take it. Best Harry call:

1987: Mike Schmidt's 500th homer.

1993: The Phillies beat the Braves in Game 6 of the NLCS.

2007: Brett Myers closes out the NL East championship clincher.

2008: Brad Lidge strikes out Eric Hinske in Game 5 of the World Series.

If you have any other great moments or calls, by all means speak up.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

I don't know what I'd pick. The Lidge call was great and is still fresh in our minds. To me, Harry's true greatness wasn't in the special, momentous calls but in the ordinary telling of an ordinary inning of an ordinary game. He put just as much emotion and skill into those. Bad answer, I know, but I'm still a little numb.

From: Sheridan, Phil

To: Gonzalez, John; Ford, Bob

Subject: Harry the K

It's funny. The Schmidt call is the only one I heard live. I was covering the other games on that list and didn't hear Harry's calls until later. I thought the final out of the 2008 World Series was a solid call. It was special only because it was Harry and because of the moment. That's the flip side of Bob's point: Harry's genius was in calling every inning of every game as if he cared deeply, so that translated in the big moments. He'd been there all along, so his call meant more than anything some network bigfoot could manage.

The Schmitty 500th homer was a case in point. "There it is" conveyed the wait for that milestone that everyone who followed the team had been on together.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

I really liked the Brad Lidge/W.S. call. It was simple and perfect. But I'll still go with Schmidt's 500th. That's one of my favorite memories as a kid. I was as happy to hear Harry call the homer as I was to see Schmidt hit it. So much of my childhood was spent listening to Harry that my parents should have paid him baby-sitting money.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

Might explain why your attention span is three hours at the most.

From: Sheridan, Phil

To: Gonzalez, John; Ford, Bob

Subject: Harry the K

I'll throw two others out there: the "Mitchy Poo" call when Mitch Williams drove in the winning run to end that marathon game in the wee hours in 1993 and, bear with me, Joe Carter's home run in 1993. Harry conveyed the gut-punch sense of instant disappointment that every Phillies fan, and every Phillie, felt at that moment. In a way, that's the truer measure of his devotion to the team than the triumphant calls.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

When I was growing up, Steve Jeltz was the shortstop, Von Hayes was in the outfield, and the Phils were about as bad as a baseball team could possibly be. And yet I was a devoted Phillies fan. A lot of that had to do with Harry. He somehow managed to make those dreadful clubs interesting to a 10-year-old. That's an awfully impressive feat.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Sheridan, Phil

Subject: Harry the K

Harry had a lot of practice making the game interesting even if the team ultimately wasn't. Always had high hopes, though.

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