Freudian Slips: Harry Kalas, Thanks for The Memories

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas, Thanks for The Memories

It didn’t sound much like a baseball game when I turned on the radio. It sure didn’t sound like a Philadelphia Phillies broadcast. The crowd sounded subdued but then again the winless Washington Nationals don’t have much of a home field advantage.
I focused my attention on the Phillies who were at bat. Centerfielder Shane Victorino was at the plate. Scott Franzke was doing play by play. It sounded like he cleared his throat anticipating the next moment to come:
2-2 count to Shane Victorino. Swing and a loooong drive. Deep right field…Yes, folks, it’s outta here.
The verbage was the same on this homerun call as countless calls before it but the melodramatic cadence was so subdued that you might have thought an opponent just scored. The homerun call was devoid of that hometown pep, grandeur and emotion that we have grown used to with … Announcer Scott Franzke’s pipes sound choked up now. I hike the volume on my radio. Franzke lets the listening audience know Shane Victorino pointed up to the booth after rounding the bases.
It took me a couple of swallows before I understood the relevance of what Shane Victorino had underscored, what had just surreally happened. I realized that should have been Harry Kalas’ trademark call. Phillies iconic announcer Harry Kalas was dead at age 73 having collapsed in the press box before today's game. That's when I lost my voice.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a WOW moment!!!!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

prayers to the Kalas family.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe, upon reading of Kalas' death on your blog, I began to cry, which surprised me. I realized that this man's demise brought back sad memories of April, 2001, the date my world changed.

"OMG"...I thought to myself,"Greg would be devastated!" At this moment, the intense pain in my heart began to throb with a life of its own. The anguish was real and it had teeth. It began to consume me. Memories of Greg's love of the game and his smile at hearing, "It's outaaa..heeerrr! was a little too much for this ol' lady. The spirit of Greg will live on in our hearts, just like Kalas's spirit will live on in the hearts of all who loved the game of baseball, football too!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Rest assured I drew the same parallels. Tis the season.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Scott Franzke said...

Joe, I am a friend of your cousin, Cathy. She pointed me to your blog, and specifically the HK post. To be sure, you weren't the only one who lost his voice that day. We all lost, and we lost big.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I consider it an honor that you found your way to my blog. The call you made on this HR was underscored with integrity for the dearly departed.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cried a few times when listening to WIP, reading about Shane paying homage to Harry after his HR and caqtching glimpses of the memorial. I'm so glad that he was able to be there when they won last year and to be a part of the ring ceremony.


8:48 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Kalas died with his life complete. If we could all say that, this world we would make a better place.
Starting to sound like Yoda. Signing off.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, My heart was hurting the day Harry died and I still can't listen to the ball game on TV. I turn the radio on and listen to Scott and Larry. Also, ET just broke my heart with her
comment. Ed and I went to the stadium, not to view the casket but to be involved in the passing of a legend and a wonderful husband, father, and friend of fans. He will be missed forever.

Love, Catherine Mary

4:17 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine Mary,
I was down at the ballpark tonight. My ears would perk up when I heard Harry Kalas's voice, alas a deceiving replay.
It meant alot that Scott Franzke got to read what I wrote. He could experience his call from a viewer perspective.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, You are a careing, loving and talented person. You feel deep down in your soul. When I read your blog I had to tell Scott. I knew he would appreciate what you said. I also told him the story about Greg.
I listened to Scott and Larry that night and had to leave the room. It broke my heart not only listening to them but seeing them on TV in their grief.
Love, Catherine Mary

6:19 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine Mary,
Thanks for the plug. Dad and Harry are discussing Mitch William's pitch selection to Blue Jays Joe Carter right now.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, I would love to be listening to a conversation with your dad, Harry and Whitey. That would be unbelievable. Years ago I took Tommy to a baseball card convention. Whitey was there! My dad, at the time, was really sick. He went up to Whitey and said, hey young fella, how you doin. Whitey was so sweet and kind to my dad. They stood there for awhile and talked baseball. It was a highlight for my dad. Just a few months later my dad died.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Catherine Mary,
That's the thing about beloved hometown announcers. Their voice time date stamps much of our humanity.

10:09 PM  

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