RIP Kalas, Fidrych

>online casinolies announcer Harry Kalas passed away today, as did former Detroit Tiger phenom Mark “The Bird” Fidrych.

Kalas had the classic, deep baritone voice that made every production of NFL Films legendary. I can’t even imagine those old highlight films from the 1970s and 80s without hearing his rich, distinctive voice.

For those too young to know or remember, Fidrych was one of the most fascinating and exciting personalities to ever suit up in an MLB uniform. For one magical year — 1976 — he commanded the attention of every baseball spectator, from the most intense of fans to the least interested. If you weren’t there, it’s hard to describe … think, the Mark McGwire homerun chase in 1998, but times three — and remember that back in 1976 there were only five or six TV channels to choose from. And as fast as he rose to superstardom, he just as quickly fell, the victim of an arm injury. From all accounts, he was also a remarkably wonderful, easygoing, humble guy.

Shame to see two such unique personalities leave us … the world will be emptier without them. However they both made a mark on the game, and will live on in our memories. Condolences to both their families.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 April 14, 2009 at 8:08 am
    Yesterday was a pretty crappy day for baseball fans everywhere.

    RIP to Kalas and The Bird. Kalas was always synonymous with me getting a glimpse of Phillies baseball through static (or clear-waves, depending on the day) on Channel 29 — when you’d flip through the channels you “didn’t get” on your TV screen.

    Hearing him and seeing the game through fuzzy-snow was like coming into contact with another world.

    He’ll be missed.