Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day of reflection, appreciation in Majors

Major League Baseball's very emotional 2009 season became even more poignant on a truly moving Monday that saw sudden and painful departures, a long-awaited arrival, a soon-to-be-stunning gesture and a memorable on-the-field feat.

Baseball lost two distinct yet very different personalities Monday with the passing of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas and former Rookie of the Year Mark Fidrych.

Kalas, the 73-year-old Phillies play-by-play man, NFL Films voice and all-around Philadelphia icon, collapsed in the broadcast booth at Nationals Park in Washington and died soon after.

Throughout baseball, fellow Hall of Fame broadcasters, star players and regular fans touched by Kalas' life and work remembered him as a master of his craft and a prince of a man.

"What a sweetheart," said Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who got to know Kalas while skippering the Phillies from 1997-2000. "A voice that is unmatched. ... Philadelphia can be a tough town, but I'm sure they'll really pour out some emotion for Harry."

For many of Kalas' colleagues, it was only fitting that he died doing what he loved to do.

The rest is here-


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