The legend of Harry Kalas will live on at Citizens Bank Park with the dedication of a statue to the Phillies broadcaster who died before a game in Washington, D.C., on April 13, 2009.
The Phillies, the team with the best record in Major League Baseball, will unveil the statue on Sunday, August 14, during a pre-game ceremony at CBP at 1:10 p.m. The Phillies host the Washington Nationals on Alumni Weekend.
Kalas, who began broadcasting for the Phillies in 1971, collapsed in the press box at Nationals Park before the Nationals’ home opener against the Phillies. He was 73.
Kalas and former Phillies Whiz Kid centerfielder Richie Ashburn – “Whitey” – formed one of baseball’s finest broadcast teams, with Kalas’ baritone voice (“It’s outta here”) and Ashburn’s Midwestern humor delighting Philadelphia fans for countless summers.
Ashburn began his career as a Phillies color commentator in 1963. He died in New York City hotel room before a Phillies-Mets game on Sept. 9, 1997. He was 70. A statue of Ashburn, by Zenos Frudakis of Glenside, Pa., was erected in Ashburn Alley beyond center field of CBP in 2004.
According to a Phillies press release, among those participating in the dedication of Kalas’ statue will be Lawrence J. Nowlan, the statue’s sculptor, as well as Todd Palmer and Suzanne Norris from Dear Harry, Inc., the fan-based group organized solely to fund the statue. Accepting on the team’s behalf will be Phillies president David Montgomery. Special guests will include members of the Kalas family as well as more than two dozen Phillies alumni.
Nowlan grew up in suburban Philadelphia and has a studio in Windsor, Vt.
According to the Lawrence J. Nowlan sculpture web site, he “draws inspiration from the past while working in a modern sensibility of style.”
“Harry gave all he had to the fans here in Philadelphia,” said Nowlan in the press release. “For 38 years he treated us with nothing but love and respect. Being able to play a small part in cementing his legacy in our city and beyond has been a dream come true.”
“This will no doubt be an emotional day for the Phillies and we are extremely grateful to the many fans who contributed to this effort,” said Mike Stiles, Phillies Senior Vice President, Administration and Operations in the press release.
The 7 1⁄2-foot bronze statue will be located on the Main Concourse behind Section 141, near Harry the K’s restaurant.