The Fightins'
One Year Ago Today, We Lost Our Voice
Posted by at 6:57 pm ET 62 Comments

Rest in peace, Harry. You are missed.

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  • Phist Pump Guy


    I hate T-Mac


    T-Mac sucks.

    Miss you, Harry.

  • RicoBrogna

    RIP Harry,

    i hate the whole Phillies Television Broadcast Team

  • Bridge to Lidge


  • maria

    Love and miss Harry. I don’t hate all the broadcasters, at least not the radio guys. Actually, just read an article about the current setup on TV, and doesn’t seem like they want to change much. Tom McCarthy is NOT the heir apparent to Harry. He’s just not.

  • BD

    i bet harry reads this blog in a different plane of existance ill still make my own harry the k calls when i hit a homer while doing any baseballl related activities and ill defintley be tellin my kids one day about him

  • crazy4swayze

    i remember bill conlin once described his voice as perfectly tuned by gin and tonics and marlboros…or something to that effect. it was worded better and it was awesome.


    Would you rather have T-Mac or Scott Graham?

    And also, can somebody explain why Scott Franzke isn’t on television?

  • maria

    Scott Graham, although he too has an awkward homerun call.


    Maria- I would agree with that assessment. And the Graham Slam Ice Cream commercials were painful.

  • philaphan2008

    He’s up there watching the Fightins (you guys too). Harry’s calling the games with Whitey again. Sometimes something will happen during a game that will just make me think of him.

  • TonyIsDynamic

    It’s not the same without Harry. =\

    Honestly though? I think you guys are way too hard on T-Mac. I think he’s a great announcer with a great voice. Look around the league if you think he’s one of the worst. Would you rather be lulled to sleep by the Seattle commentators? How about a little Hawk Harrelson in your Phillies broadcasts?

    God FORBID we get the annoying cathphrases and boring, shitty commentating of John Sterling or Scott Kaye.

  • philsphan2008

    TonyIsDynamic –

    I can’t stand John Sterling. He says the word “the” longer than he says “Yankees”.


    “Oppo Boppo”? Really?

  • Donald

    5/2/08. One of Harry’s best calls in my opinion. Burrel’s walk-off against the Giants.

  • phils43

    games just aren’t the same anymore & probably never will be. we miss you hk, i still get the chills hearing those calls <3

  • philsphan2008

    This was my favorite Harry call. How many of you got chills? I get chills very time.

  • Danny Ozark

    He is dearly missed…At the risk of sounding nostalgic, my grandfather would take the transistor (AM) pocket radio with us when we walked to the ball yard in Scranton to see the then Scranton Red Sox; who in turn became the Red Barrons.We would listen to Harry and Whitey while watching the games. I would stuff myself of .25 hot dogs and fountain Cokes in between chasing foul balls and homers for which I recieved .50 for each ball. I even got to work the scoreboard a few times. Its been years since my grandfather passed but I am sure he is up there with the K and Whitey trading stats and stories watching the games and enjoying an ice cold Schmidts. Play ball boys, play ball.

  • ScottRuffcorn

    It’s hard to listen to all those old clips and know that Harry’s not around anymore. I get chills everytime I hear his old calls now. The other day on MMR Pierre played a clip that Harry made for Springsteen of a mock homerun call, it was f’n great.

  • D. Whitmore

    its a damn shame hes gone.

    /oh and this was already covered on the site bro

  • Watrick

    My favorite Kalas call was when Billy Wagner and David Bell combined to blow a lead in the 9th against the Astros near the end of the season. After Bell booted a couple balls, Kalas ended the inning by saying something along the lines of, ” 5 runs, none earned, but who cares.” It was perfect HK.

  • PolancosHeadIsHuge

    Fuck TMac.

    RIP Harry, Phillies games with NEVER be the same without you.

  • maria

    Loved the “down the middle for a ball” calls.

  • TonyIsDynamic

    Watrick – When Biggio hit the run off Wagner, HK’s “Are you…KIDDING ME?” was so genuine, it was so awesome to hear at the time. Still is.

    And in terms of John Sterling, his THEEEEEEEEEEE is NOWHERE near annoying as his robotic and “push a button” home run calls he’s programmed to say whenever any Yankee hits a home run.

    Fucking. Annoying.

  • Andy Musser

    Tom, I know you are a professional and I know you aren’t trying to be anything other than yourself and to fill your own shoes, with the glaring exception of, “Oppo Boppo,” but you better hope that I decide to keep selling that hippie beer in San Fransisco or your job is mine.

  • Dave Hollins’ shoulder chip

    Tony, not even when the guy goes, “Thuh-uh-uh-uh-uh..” like he’s choking the life out of his chicken? That has got to be biggest violation in sports broadcasting today.


    I remember back in the late 90s the Phils were playing the Expos on a Sunday afternoon and Ricky Bo gave up a shot off the right center field wall to Cliff Floyd, which put Montreal in the lead. Kalas says, “You’ve got to be kidding me” in that a drawn out, ominous way, you could sense at that moment how frustrated and bewildered he was with the Phillies ineptitude. He perfectly articulated how I felt as a 12 year old, at the time, felt.

    I respect Harry because he hung through a ton of shitty years of baseball and you have to figure he could have went pretty much anywhere he wanted.

  • will.H

    he indirectly named this blog, afterall.

    even if we didn’t know Harry, we always have one common bond.


    And the Chicawgo Cubs.

  • Brandon

    I was at that game last year in DC and it was absolutely surreal to hear that news. Then every game we went to and every game watched it just wasn’t right. I still get goosebumps and almost tears when I hear High Hopes or any of his calls. We were lucky to have such a great presence in the booth. RIP Harry.

  • OutlawPete

    i thought you guys weren’t going to mention this! btw did anyone else see this on Deadspin?

    “* Chris Wheeler was initially Harry’s guy to field phone calls from many of his side projects.”

  • Joe Pa



    Outlaw-I don’t think anyone is surprised by those revelations. Part of me thinks the book seems a bit tasteless, but compellng at the same time.

  • OutlawPete

    who said anything about surprises?

  • The First John

    wow ESPN just did a nice little piece on Harry on Baseball Tonight, very classy ESPN

  • PolancosHeadIsHuge


  • PolancosHeadIsHuge

    CSN tribute from last year:

  • Fink

    Miss you, Harry!!! You were one of a kind. There will never be another Harry the K.

  • bigmyc

    Will H., that ‘Fightins’ moniker arose very early on in the Phillies antiquity…I believe around the turn of the century in the dead ball and handle bar mustache era. Those Phillies’ teams of that era were, as their last century of baseball might suggest, bad baseball teams filled with lousy talent. This never stopped them from competing in their own way, however. You see, these early Phillies teams were a bunch to be reckoned with when it came to a donnybrook. They seem poised to throw down the gauntlet with their opposition on any occasion. Henceforth, their long held nickname, “the Fightins.”

  • Freddie the K

    I’ll miss Harry’s voice. I’ll always remember it as the sound of summer. My dad always tuned my clock radio to Phillies games when I was a kid, and I remember my uncles always bringing a small boombox to the beach or cookouts in the summer. I was 3 and 31 when the Phillies won the World Series, so we listened to a lot of awful baseball in between, but we listened for Harry and Whitey. When my youngest son was born last week we named him in honor of Harry. My older son was staying with my parents while I was at the hospital with my wife, and when I called to check on him my mom said, “Don’t worry about a thing, your father has him upstairs listening to the Phillies game before he goes to bed.” Baseball is full of traditions, and the memory of Harry’s voice, and Harry the personality is a great tradition. As I hold my son, and rock him to sleep I sing “High Hopes”, and even though he is too young to know what I am saying I know I see a small smile as he drifts off.
    There will never be another Harry, but Franzke and LA do a great job.

  • spacecoyote

    Harry is missed, but honestly, I don’t hate T-Mac. He’s just a guy. LA and Franzke are gold, and work best on radio.

    Anyone else check out It sucks.

  • Lynniemac

    I’ve read an awful lot of really nice things about Harry today. Freddie, your comment is among the best. Congratulations of the birth of your son.

  • ThinkRed

    Everybody hates T-Mac, but as someone out of market who gets the games via MLB Extra Innings, believe me there are much worse. See: Marlins, Nationals, Rockies, Buck/McCarver. I mean, those guys really friggin’ suck.

    RIP HK.

  • SherryW

    Freddie, your making me tear up now. Congrats.

    You the Man, HK.

  • Griswold

    Franzke and LA are the best. I do alot of driving, so I am always tuned in.

  • mike

    It’s funny how many recollections of Harry, and other loved ones, describe the realization that it was the “in-between” moments that have most added texture and joy to our lives. It is the small but precious details that make life-long memories out of insignificant moments. That’s what they mean when they say Harry provided the “soundtrack” of our summers and our childhoods. We all have our own memories–driving in the car at night with the windows down in mid-July, the smell of burgers and charcoal as a 6-year old. I know I have dozens.

    I miss you so much Harry. The only good thing about such a painful loss is that it helps make you fully appreciate the small things that make life so great. RIP HK.

  • Tap the Tab

    “2008 World Champions of baseballllll……”

  • Jupiter’s Rings

    What’s great is that when you read these quotes you can really hear his voice behind them. I can’t say that happens with a lot of people. Moreso, I don’t get goosebumps from anyone else.

  • wittel55

    Wheeler makes my ears bleed !!!!!!!! Harry the K is greatly missed

  • Joe D

    @Watrick (post 23)….I remember that game vividly. What an awful ending. You could definitely hear the disgust in Harry’s voice. I know that many people get on announcers for being homers or getting too wrapped up in the team but c’mon these guys are employed by the team, it’s only natural to want success. Harry was as big of a fan as anyone and that day he spoke for the entire fan base.

  • bigmyc

    I don’t see why home team announcers can’t be big fans of the team. One can do this without coming across as a homer. Harry was, among other things, the best at this.

  • Minty Fresh

    I had the INSANE pleasure of attending a fundraiser last night, where RAJ was in attendance. There wasn’t a ton of people there and not many people were talking to him so I seized the opportunity like a kid on Christmas. One of my many questions was about moving Franzke to TV. RAJ said that breaking up a team that has so much chemistry is the tough part about that move. He made a comment about LA having a “face for radio”…so as much as a lot of us want to see LA and Franzke on TV, I’m not sure its in the cards.

    In other news, RAJ couldn’t have been a nicer guy. I was pretty blown away by his willingness to just kick back and answer all my inane questions…and really just sit there and talk baseball with a fan. He’s definitely a cool cat. I’m not sure I’d like to be a player sitting down to negotiate with him.

    Oh, he had GLOWING comments about Mr. Roy Halladay. Called him a “Chase Utley on the pitching mound”. Seems Roy really is deserving of all the great press he gets.

  • will.H

    i think as soon as the ball left biggio’s bat, harry said something along the lines of “OOOH no..”

    it was sort of like a joe carter jr. incident. not the WS, or even the playoffs, but we were dying to get to the post season and that inning ended our hopes.. and they knew it

  • jd

    ugh, i don’t like these posts. because it brings back a flood of good nostalgia and the knowing that baseball for me would enver be the same. it feels like being punched in the chest.

    but these posts are necessary. just a constant reminder that despite the 10,000 + losses, we as philly fans really have had it pretty good.

    i miss him.

  • Morandini Turned Three

    My 2 cents…..There will never be another HK, and we’re all fortunate that he has been a part of our baseball lives. Despite all the hate T-MAC gets, he’s been a class guy, and to his credit he isn’t trying to be Harry. He can’t be. He’s just a nice guy stepping into enormous shoes and trying to be a good baseball announcer. But he is in a no-win situation.

    Every time I hear T-MAC’s voice it hurts, because it reminds us that Harry’s gone. That alone may be the reason we’re so hard on him.

    I think RAJ has it right about radio. Scott and LA do a phenomenal job on radio. (Although LA looks just fine on TV. Certainly better than Wheels and his hairpiece. ) Let’s not screw that up. Besides, you can always turn down the TV and turn up the radio.

  • will.H

    and i think franske/LA have more range on the radio.. they can talk more freely instead of being all networky on CSN. LA used to do TV remember, and he wasn’t nearly as likable. One day he’ll probably fill that role again because I can’t imagine those two splitting up and I suspect Franske is being groomed for the more permanent role.

  • bigmyc

    It’d just be nice to have Franske and Larry do Televised broadcasts every so often. It’d be a nice treat. If Harry and Whitey both did radio and TV, why can’t Franske and LA do the same?

    Why not give them shared time every game? There is a way around this BS chemistry thing and where which side of the booth they do the games from.

  • James Fayleez

    Understand how the Phillies management works. If you are a “good guy” you will never be fired. It’s why it took them so long to fire Ed Wade.

    Wheeler – good guy, Montgomery’s pal
    TMac – good guy

    they are going NOWHERE.

    Franske is a good guy, but not as good a guy as Wheeler or TMac in the eyes of Montgomery.

  • Phan Stuck in nyc

    As a Phan Stuck in nyc for the past so many yrs, AND stuck hearing that heinous John Sterling on a 1001 commercials (I don’t ever deliberately hear him, he has to attack me by surprise), I don’t have the vocabulary to adequately explain what an extreme pleasure Harry’s voice, and commentary were. Unforced, intelligent, relaxing, smooth, like finally being where you belong or something. Oh forget it. It reduces it for me to attempt to put it in words. Clearly everyone has their own experiences & feelings.

    Dave Hollins’: When you wrote “Thuh-uh-uh-uh-uh..” I literally involuntarily retched. I saw myself frantically searching for the remote to mute the tv. Like a nitro pill that stops a heart attack. God. I so actively DISLIKE that man, his style, & that voice, that he makes me physically ill. And do you have any idea how often I have to hear that? It’s staggering the sheer number of times that egregious phrase is played.

    No one appreciated Harry more than I did. I was kind of shocked at how hard his passing hit me.

    Everyone’s posts were great. Thanks. But DannyOzark & Freddie your posts were really wonderful.

  • Tyler

    I remember how hard I cried when they put his casket in the hearse while “Bridge Over Troubled Water” played…I wept.

  • Steve

    One year ago, the Phillies and we the fans lost our voice! RIP Harry the K!
    With that said I have been a Phillies fan all my life (since 1975) and although the broadcasts are not the same without HK, I find it troubling all the negative comments about Tom McCarthy! Look people he’s not Harry! Tom and the rest of the Phillies broadcasters have a big void to fill, and they have never claimed to be on the same level as Harry the K., however the show must go on!

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