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Fans offer their tributes to Kalas

Fans offer their tributes to Kalas
WHEN THEY HEARD the sad news yesterday, friends Bryan Jordan and Clint Layton, both 21, drove 22 miles from Pedricktown, N.J., to Chickie's & Pete's in South Philly to honor Harry Kalas' memory by watching the game he spent his final moments preparing to announce."When I was little, even before I knew who the Phillies were, I knew Harry's voice from listening to games on the radio at my grandpop's house," Layton said."I think he knew his life would end this way, doing his job with the team he loved," Jordan said. "He wasn't going to retire, no matter what. He did it his way."A few seats away, John Toth, 39, who grew up in Grays Ferry and now lives in Washington Township, N.J., was telling his friend Bruce Jones, 52, of Moorestown, N.J., about meeting Kalas before the 1993 Orange Bowl."I'm at a hotel with six guys from the neighborhood when this limo pulls up and out pops Harry," Toth said. "I go, 'Yo, Harry! We're from Philly ! You got to give us a Mike Schmidt call.'"Harry goes, 'Michael Jack Schmidt. Long drive into deep centerfield. That ball is outta here !' We're high-fiving, going crazy.

I'll never forget him."Neither will Shaul Stone, a Philadelphian now living in Los Angeles, lifting a glass to Kalas' memory, telling friends Dan Coles and Kristen Miceli, of King of Prussia, "Baseball is my life's light and Harry was the voice of my father."My father taught me how to play Baseball," Stone said. "Harry taught me how to listen to it. Whenever you heard Harry's voice, you knew it was springtime and good times were on the way."Joining his Lenape High classmates Ryan Brinker, Mark Foresta and Jake Janofsky in a crab-fries toast, Corey Panati, of Mount Laurel, N.J., said, "He is the Voice. He is the Philadelphia Phillies . We all love [Chris] Wheeler, but, I mean, he's no Harry."He died doing what he loved," Brinker said. "He got his one dream at the end of his life. He finally got to announce the Phillies winning the championship." Phillies fans everywhere sent memories to the Daily News ."Harry was there for the opening of the Vet and he outlived it - yet he died too young," wrote Lawrence Bloom, of Waterville, Maine."I have lived many places far from the Philly 'burbs where I grew up, but regardless of where I was, listening to Harry broadcast a Phillies game always brought me back home."Tracy E. Allen, of Ocean City, N.J., wrote: "Harry would get your emotions going better than any other announcer with his stirring calls of big plays."If it was a late game and my dad and I were tired and dozing off, Harry's bellowing voice would wake us up with, "It's a deep, long drive! Could it be? It's OUTTA HERE!'"Kelly Bloor, of South Philadelphia, wrote: "As a 28-year-old fan, I have never known Phillies Baseball without Harry Kalas. Every spring, just hearing his voice put a smile on my face."It's comforting to know that Harry had the chance to call the last out of the 2008 World Series and saw his boys win it all. We love you and miss you, Harry!"Lindsey Borda, 23, of Hammonton, N.J., wrote: "When Harry won the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2002 Frick Award, he penned and recited a poem dedicated to the passion of Philadelphia fans, a poem that became a Phillies poster that hangs in my room to this day. He just got us, he was one of us and we adored him for it."Jason T. Hutt, a Northeast Philly native working at NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston, wrote: "I grew up playing wiffle ball in the yard and everyone who pretended to hit that game-winning home run would do their Harry impersonation. When Harry got excited you could feel the goose bumps rise and your hair stand on edge. I will miss him."James DeBord, of Lancaster, wrote: "I've been fighting back tears. I am 40. When I was a young boy in the '70s, I would watch games with my grandfather on my mom's side and my grandmother on my dad's side. They have long since passed, but I would always think of them when I heard Harry's voice."Now, I watch games with my son. Harry was that constant bridge between generations." *

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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