Kalas to be honored today, tomorrow, long after
The tributes to Harry Kalas will take off today and tomorrow like “a high, towering drive” — as the beloved Phillies broadcaster liked to say.
But other remembrances are also in the works to keep Kalas alive in local hearts and minds.
The biggest event will be the public memorial service tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park, where Kalas’ casket will be on view at home plate.
At 1 p.m., current and former players, broadcasters, team executives, family and friends will have their turns to visit the casket.
The official tribute begins at 1:30 p.m.
Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said fans could come and go all morning, but couldn’t predict whether some might have problems finding seats for the afternoon ceremony.
“There’s no way for us to guage how many people will really turn out,” she said.
Free parking should be available in the lots west of the ballpark. Fans should enter the park via the Third Base Gate and leave through the First Base Gate.
Fans will be allowed to take photographs, as well as bring in food and non-alcoholic drinks, Clark said. Usually, the Phillies do not allow cans, or hard-sided containers such glass bottles or thermoses.
The concessions stands will be closed, but the club will hand some complementary snacks and beverages, while supplies last, Clark said.
The funeral services and burial, scheduled for early next week, will be private, according to the Phillies and the Kalas family.
All sorts of tributes are also planned for Citizens Bank Park today, both before and during tonight’s soldout game against the San Diego Padres.
Sometime today, black bunting will be hung in front of the radio and TV booths. It will remain there for the club's seven-game homestand.
The TV booth will also get a plaque declaring it, “The Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth: ‘That ball’s outta here.’ ” The radio area already bears the designation, “The Richie ‘Whitey’ Ashburn Broadcast Booth: ‘This game's easy, Harry.’ ”
Ashburn, of course, was a popular Phillies outfielder and broadcaster, as well as Kalas’ longtime on-air partner and friend.
At 5:30 p.m. the Quaker City String band will perform near the Mike Schmidt statue, where fans have created a growing memorial to Kalas.
Fans entering the park for the 7:05 p.m. game will get a color photograph of Kalas, as well as a copy of a poem he wrote for fans.
During the homestand, the Phillies flag in Ashburn Alley will hang at half-mast and Kalas' signature will be displayed on the field.
Harry’s sons Todd, Brad and Kane will throw out the ceremonial first balls. A moment of silence will precede a performance of the national anthem by Kane, the youngest son.
A video on PhanaVision will show highlights of the broadcaster's career.
As a reminder of how much Harry Kalas will be missed, no commentary will be given during the first half-inning of tonight’s Comcast broadcast.
During the seventh-inning stretch, fans will be encouraged to sing along as a video plays on PhanaVision of Kalas doing a familiar rendition of “High Hopes.”
Last night, players and coaches began wearing a black patch on their chests bearing the initials "HK."
All season, after every Phillies home run, Kalas' trademark "Outta here!" will be heard throughout the park, as the Liberty Bell lights up.
An outfield billboard will also honor Kalas for the rest of the season.
The homestead continues with games against the Padres tomorrow night, Sunday afternoon and Monday night, followed by a series against the Milwaukee Brewers with two night games and a Thursday afternoon game.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or email@example.com.