Still wild about Harry

Den Sweeney
Den Sweeney
Posted: April 01, 2011

FOR THE SECOND year, we have an Opening Day without Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died on April 13, 2009.

But leave it to Harry to still be making news.

The Phillies announced yesterday that they have accepted a fan-funded gift of a 7 1/2-foot, 600-pound, bronze statue of Kalas, which they will place at Citizens Bank Park. The team said it hasn't been decided where the statue will be stationed, or when it will be unveiled.

The idea for the statue began with a petition page on Facebook. Sculptor Larry Nowlan was among the 20,000 fans who joined. The acclaimed artist knew he could produce the piece if he had the funds. So he took things a step further by helping to form the nonprofit Dear Harry Inc.

Nowlan said the group received donations from corporations and individuals but is still $25,000 short of its goal of $80,000. Those interested can send a few bucks via harrykalasstatue.com.

Nowlan lives in Vermont, but grew up in Merion and attended Archbishop Carroll High. A long-time Phillies fan, he said he is thrilled to be a part of the memorial.

His commissioned sculptures are on display from New York to Los Angeles. But the Kalas statue, he said, holds a special place in his heart.

"At the moment, because of the way it came about [through fan funding] it's incomparable," Nowlan said yesterday.

Incomparable. Just like Kalas, who, we have no doubt, would appreciate the statue. In fact, we can almost hear him uttering the following six words: "Larry Nowlan, you are the man."

- Tom Mahon

Send email to highandinside@phillynews.com

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