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About Harry Kalas ...
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07/18/2002 9:24 pm ET 
About Harry Kalas ...

Harry Kalas and fellow Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who were teamed in the Phillies' broadcast booth for 27 years, were immortalized together in a bobblehead doll. (Phillies)
Harry Kalas was born March 26, 1936 in Chicago, just as another new baseball season was set to begin. The kid would grow up to become the voice of a generation.

"He's part of the uniform," said Phillies manager Larry Bowa.

Kalas grew up in the Midwest and at 10 attended his first professional baseball game. He played some third base in high school and in American Legion ball, and first thought about broadcasting as a senior. He got serious at the University of Iowa, from where he graduated in 1959 with a BA in Speech, Radio and Television.

His break in broadcasting occurred after a stint in the Army, when he became the voice of the Hawaii Islanders. His first Major League job came with the Houston Astros in 1965, before he joined the Phillies in 1971.

"There's no aspect of what he does for a living that he doesn't enjoy," said 36-year-old Todd Kalas, his oldest of three sons along with Brad (33) and Kane (13). "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.

He celebrated his 30th year with the Phillies in 2000 and has been named the Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year 17 times.

"It's great that the city has embraced my dad as much as he has embraced the city for 32 years," Todd said. "He's the type of person that people feel comfortable coming up and saying hi to and he always has the time to give back to them. It's been a great love affair that dad and the Phillies fans have had and I hope it keeps going."

-- Ken Mandel

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