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Harry Kalas
Phillies voice known from coast to coast

By Mike Scarr /

The voice is as symbolic of the Phillies as the Phanatic, but the golden pipes were born in the Midwest.

Harry Kalas has been behind the mic on Phillies games since 1971, delivering that rich baritone to describe the swings of greats from Willie Montanez to Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard.

The Hall of Fame voice hasn't always plied his trade in Philadelphia, though. Kalas, the son of a minister, hails from Naperville, Ill., and set his career on course with a bachelor of arts in speech, radio and television from the University of Iowa.

After graduating, Kalas served two years with the Army in Hawaii, where his professional career began.

Kalas was given the chance to hone his broadcasting skills during his stint in the Armed Forces. Afterward, he became the sports director at KGU Radio, where he called games for the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League.

That led to a gig as a member of the Houston Astros broadcast team. Kalas called the first game at the Astrodome on April 12, 1965, a precursor to other milestone games: He broadcast both the first game (April 10, 1971) and the last game (Sept. 28, 2003) at Veterans Stadium, as well as the first game at Citizens Bank Park (April 12, 2004).

Born: Chicago, IL.

School: Univ. of Iowa

MLB Broadcasting Career:
HOU (1965-70);
PHI (1971-present)

Hall of Fame:
Inducted in 2002

Video | Bio
Although he's well known as the voice of the Phillies, Kalas' talents aren't limited to the baseball diamond. He succeeded John Facenda as narrator of NFL Films and has worked play-by-play for Westwood One's NFL radio broadcasts. Kalas has also done voiceover work on numerous commercials.

"There's no aspect of what he does for a living that he doesn't enjoy," his son, Todd, told Broadcast Pioneers.

It's a living that has led to his signature home run call of "outta here" and a great view of many of baseball's biggest moments. Along the way, Harry Kalas has broadcast six no-hitters, each of Steve Carlton's starts from 1972-86 and every one of Mike Schmidt's 548 career home runs.

"At times he feels like he's stealing because he's doing exactly what he wants to do in life and getting paid for it," said Todd Kalas, who has followed in his dad's footsteps and is part of the broadcast team for the Rays. "It's great that the city has embraced my dad as much as he has embraced the city."

In 2002, Kalas received his ticket to the Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually to one of the best in the field of broadcasting.

Facenda was once said to have the "voice of God." For legions of listeners, Kalas' voice has been one of a friend.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.