Harry Kalas will live on for ages in the hearts of Phillies fans and players, but it's unclear how much longer the Citizens Bank Park restaurant Harry the K's will continue to bear his name.
Kalas' widow, Eileen Kalas, told us Friday that her attorney Dion Rassias, of the Beasley Firm, reached out to Phillies President Dave Montgomery to try and renegotiate a deal on using Harry's name and likeness on the restaurant located in the ballpark's Ashburn Alley section, named after fellow Phillies legend Richie Ashburn.
Eileen says the new deal was needed because Tobra Inc., which was Kalas' company, has been shut down and it was the company, not the Kalas estate, that had the licensing deal with the Phillies.
Eileen says Harry was paid $1,000 a year plus a percentage of sales from the restaurant, which she said didn't amount to much revenue for him. "People think that Harry made a lot of money off the restaurant. It's crazy," she told us Friday.
Eileen says the restaurant was her idea, one she mentioned to Phillies CEO Bill Giles years ago at a party.
According to Eileen, Montgomery told her attorney that the team was not willing to renegotiate a deal. Rassias did not return an e-mail seeking comment over the weekend.
"It's their ballpark and I guess they want to move on. Harry's dead and they want to move on," said Eileen, who sold the couple's home in Delaware County, is living in Delaware and is moving soon to California.
Phillies officials say they want Harry the K's to live on.
"The Phillies want the naming to continue indefinitely," says Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark. "However, Dion indicated that Eileen is looking for different financial terms and she has the right to terminate its use at the end of the 2010 season. David expressed his disappointment to Dion, since our goal was, and continues to be, to honor Harry, who was thrilled when David told him that the restaurant would perpetually bear his name."
To read the rest of today's column, click here.