Sad day for baseball

Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It was quite the shocking and sad day for baseball fans.

Harry Kalas, longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster, died today. He was 73.

The Phillies were in Washington DC to play the Nationals in their home opener. Mr Kalas was found collapsed in the press box where he was preparing to call the game. Evidently he had been complaining of breathing problems for some weeks. Philadelphia went on to win the game against the Nationals, 9-8.

Mr Kalas was well known for the way he called home runs, "Swing...and a long drive, watch this baby, outta here!" He called both of the Phillies' world championships, in 1980 and 2008. In 1980 when he had to recreate the broadcast due to network agreements, and the hue and cry from Phillies fans led to changes in contracts that allowed home town announcers to call playoff and world series games live in their local markets.

Harry Kalas, 26 March 1936 - 13 April 2009

Mark Fidrych, former rookie of the year and All Star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, died today. He was 54.

Known as The Bird, Fidrych burst onto the scene in 1976, winning 19 games that year and leading the league with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games. He started the All Star game and was runner up for the Cy Young Award.

Although he only lasted 5 seasons in the majors due to a series of injuries, Fidrych is remembered for his personality. His antics included filling in cleat marks on the mound, talking to the baseball, strutting around the mound after an out, and tossing out balls he thought "had hits in them". He is quoted as saying, "That ball has a hit in it, so I want it to get back in the ball bag and goof around with the other balls in there. Maybe it'll learn some sense and come out as a pop-up next time."

Fidrych purchased a farm in Northborough MA with his bonus money some 30 years ago. He was found dead beneath a pick up truck that had evidently collapsed on him while he worked on it.

Mark Fidrych, 14 August 1954 - 13 April 2009


  1. Cloudia says:

    RIP Harry; And what a way for a sportman to go!

    He was a worthy successor to "By" Sahm who was the voice of the Phillies when I grew up in Philly....before moving to Hawaii (land of Shane Victorino) years ago. I still ove the Phillies, Mummers and being rude when driving ;-)

  1. Baseball has taken way too many tragedies this past week or two...

    heavy sigh.

  1. Rest in Peace both you find gentilmen.

  1. Hey You...Happy Belated!!

  1. DrillerAA says:

    I don't know if there are many truly likable characters like Mark Fidrych in baseball any more. I think the game is a little worse for the loss of these unique personalities, that bring some of the innocence and joy of the game back to remind us that it is, in fact, just a game.

  1. DrillerAA says:

    And yes, Happy Birthday. There were a couple of celebrations at our house this week-end.

  1. Travis says:

    Cloudia: I only heard a few of his broadcasts, but he was definitely a voice to be remembered. Thanks for stopping by.

    Katherine: Yes it has.

    Mike: Well said.

    Starr: Thanks!

    Drilleraa: Innocence and joy. That's exactly how I remember Fidrych.

  1. Bond says:

    Missed this when you posted it Sir...I also remembered these men today...

  1. Very nice post, Travis.