The deep, baritone sound is unmistakable. Whether it’s delivering play-by-play for a baseball game, narrating highlights for the National Football League, describing the action for one of the summer’s big movies or pitching Campbell’s Soup, everyone knows Kalas.
The voice of the Phillies since 1971, Kalas is one of four radio pioneers nominated for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. National online balloting has begun and will take place until midnight ET on July 15.
Voting is free and open to the public as well as major radio industry leaders, though online registration is required.
Kalas was inducted in the broadcasting wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2002. This nomination is impressive, because it’s not just sports-related. A broadcaster who has given at least 20 years of service to the industry and has been a leader in developing or improving radio programming at the national level is eligible.
“He’s beyond baseball,” said Tom McCarthy, a Phillies broadcaster who grew up listening to Kalas. “He’s part of the fabric of not only baseball, but football. His voice is heard on movie clips now. He is iconic in a lot of ways, but his voice is that way across the board.”
Others nominated for the award are Gary Burbank, Charlie Tuna and Jim Zabel, “the voice of the Iowa Hawkeye’s football and basketball” teams.
McCarthy, who grew up in Brick, N.J., had the unique benefit of being able to listen to Mets, Yankees and Phillies broadcasts. His inspiration has always been Kalas.
“There’s no question that Harry inspired me to become a broadcaster,” McCarthy said. “The technique, the sound, the God-given ability, you wonder if you ever have that. There’s only a few who have been given that gift. He is this town’s icon.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, a possible Radio Hall of Fame induction to go with his earlier one to Baseball Hall of Fame? If it does happen, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. In fact, I’d just went and voted for Harry as well as for Bob Costas. To vote, go to http://www.museum.tv/rhofsection.php .