After graduating from college and serving as a Broadcast Specialist in the United States Army, Harry Kalas began his professional broadcasting career in 1961 calling minor league baseball games for the Hawaii Islanders. In 1965, Kalas made his major league debut as an announcer for the Houston Astros. Six years later, he became the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as broadcasting college football and basketball games and later NFL games for Westwood One Radio.
Kalas was named Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year 18 times, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster’s wing in 2002. With his historic home run calls and memorable championship descriptions, his voice was considered by many to be one of sportscasting’s most identifiable voices. In addition to broadcasting duties, Harry had a successful career as a voice-over announcer becoming the voice of NFL Films, and appearing in numerous commercials, including “You Make The Call” and Campbell’s Chunky Soup and Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.
Kalas also provided the recorded voice-over for much of the self-guided tours at the United States Mint in Philadelphia and the Memorial Arch in St. Louis. Nicknamed “Harry the K”, Kalas lived to call his beloved Phillies win the World Series. The Naperville, Illinois native passed away in the broadcast booth while preparing to do what he loved most—call a Phillies game.
Harry Kalas died on April 13, 2009.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.