Merrill Recalls Harry

Like the rest of the Delaware Valley, Eagles radio voice Merrill Reese was stunned and saddened by the sudden passing of his friend and colleague, Phillies voice Harry Kalas Monday in Washington.

"We had lunch just before Harry left for spring training - we talked
for several hours for a book I'm writing about broadcasting," Reese recalled. 

"He mentioned he had a medical procedure coming up, but he felt confident
about it. I spoke to him again by phone when he got home from the
hospital. Harry said he was looking forward to this season as much as
any season ever."

"When you think of Harry, you think of the great, resonant voice,
the great home run calls. When you think of Harry Kalas, you think of
the legends - Vin Scully, Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse. He belongs right
in that group, announcers as big as or bigger than the players they

Reese said he remembers covering Kalas' inaugural press conference
as a young radio reporter when the Phils brought Harry to Philadelphia, in 1971.
"I remember asking him for career advice" not long after that, Reese
said. "He was always very kind, very approachable, very warm. He had a
lot of humility.
":Harry never acted like a big star. He was the same off the air as on
- easygoing."

Reese said they did commercials together, but never worked a broadcast together, despite Harry's long radio affiliation with the NFL, and his extensive work with NFL Films.