He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; 
but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too. - Benjamin Franklin 
It was "swing, and a long drive, watch that baby go, outta here."  I t was "high hopes."  And, in every sense of the word, 
it was family.

For generations, poets, historians, and writers of all kind have been trying to define what love means.  In the end, it's really 
an undefinable connection, something so special, that it defies definition.  Harry Kalas had that in Philadelphia.  He gave it 
freely, and thankfully, he got it back.  Very possibly, Philadelphia has never held anyone so dearly. 

In so many other places, heros and loved ones tend to be honored posthumously that is, when they're gone.  It seems that all 
too often, we come to realize how special a person was only after they take their leave.  In Philadelphia, it didn't play out that
way.  Harry loved us and we loved him in return.  His was a gift that was shared and expressed to all of us, routinely,  and it 
separated this wonderful man, this Phillies hero, from all the others. 

Harry went to bat for the fans, and in return, we went to bat for him.

Great things happened in Philadelphia while Harry was here.  There were two world series championships, a number of no 
hitters, Mike Schmidt's 500th homerun, and of course, Richie Ashburn.  When you look at it, what made all of it special, was 
that wonderful baritone voice, always full of passion, never, ever without love. 

It always seemed that, regardless of what happened, it would never become real until Harry put his mark on it; until he 
put that distinctive personal touch on it.  Likewise, nothing in the sports world seemed to be put into any perspective until 
Harry defined it.  Great people have that way about them.  

Harry Kalas was always honest with all of us.  We trusted him.  He was a down to earth hero.  He gave his time freely to 
all of us.  When he did, he never rushed.   We were important to him; very important.  We always knew that.  Harry was 
one of the best broadcasters this world will ever know.  That's really not up for argument.  This Hall of Fame broadcaster 
rose to the top of his profession and he stayed there.  His legacy however, great as he was, is defined by the local people  
whom he loved. 

Harry was a character; sometimes a bit left of center; sometimes more that just a bit.  Like all characters, he had a way 
about him that no one could duplicate and everyone wanted to be part of.  Greatness works like that.  Greatness though, 
really occurs on two levels.  One is that cerebral understanding of how well someone performs their craft.  Harry had that, 
lots of that.  That other level though, that's where Harry lived.  Harry effortlessly found his way directly into the heart of 
everyone he touched.  Those of us who had the privilege of meeting him knew that.  We fell in love with Harry instantly, 
accepting everything about him, and would do anything in the world for him.  We didn't let anyone hurt Harry.  Over the 
years, we became very protective of him.  We loved him that much and we let him know that, often.  In Philadelphia, it's 
what separates us from the rest of the sports world.

We were blessed in Philadelphia to have this wonderful man among us for some thirty-eight years.  We all knew it would 
come to an end sooner or later, but we never talked about that.  We savored every moment in Harry Norbert Kalas's 
tenure here.  In the last decade or so, some wonderful people have moved on, leaving their own special something with 
Phillies fans. Richie Ashburn, Tug McGraw, Paul Owens, John Vukovich, and now Harry.  All of them were special, all 
were part of the family.  This's important here.  Harry though, he was different; not a baseball player, but a passionate 
baseball man at heart.  He bonded with all of us like no one ever has. 

So, what do you do when family passes on?  You grieve, you hurt, and then, somehow, you move on.  Phillies fans will 
move on, but a bond so deep as the one shared by Harry Kalas and all of us will not die.  We will see to that.  For now, 
we will hurt, but we're Phillies fans and we will rise above this as we have everything else.  Harry is gone in the physical 
sense, but he left something very special behind, his love.  Keep that going everyone. 

The Phillies Fan Union
Faust Ruggiero, Director