WASHINGTON – Longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who punctuated innumerable home runs with his "Outta Here!" call, died Monday after being found in the broadcast booth before a game against the Washington Nationals. He was 73.
"We lost our voice today," team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization."
Kalas was found by the Phillies director of broadcasting at about 12:30 p.m. and taken to a local hospital, Montgomery said.
Kalas had surgery earlier this year for an undisclosed ailment that the team characterized as minor. He looked somewhat drawn last week as the Phillies opened the season at home.
Kalas joined the Phillies in 1971. Before that, he was an original member of the Houston Astros' broadcast team from 1965-70. He also did voiceover work for NFL Films and for commercials.
In 2002, he received the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions to the game.
Kalas joined the Phillies radio and TV broadcast team the year the club moved into their former home, Veterans Stadium, replacing fan favorite Bill Campbell.
He wasn't immediately embraced by Phillies fans, despite being paired with Richie Ashburn, a Hall of Famer as a player, and longtime announcer. But Kalas evolved into a beloved sports figure in Philadelphia. He and Ashburn grew into a popular team, and shared the booth until Ashburn's death in 1997.