In the past week, the baseball world has been saddened by news of numerous people passing, including long-time Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas.
To many, including myself, baseball is more than just a sport; baseball is an element of one’s life.
Growing up, games were affordable for my family and it grew to represent the familial bonds we possessed, even when it wasn’t apparent on the outside.
From a young age, baseball was the security blanket that traveled with me as I evolved as a person and saw many aspects of my world go through the cyclic nature of (re)building, collapsing, and flourishing.
Yesterday, hearing the news Kalas’ death made me feel like I lost a family member.
Earlier in the decade, searching for an escape from the stress of school, I found the Phillies and their primarily-East Coast playing times were perfect. Along with the team came the voice. Kalas’ voice was distinctive, majestic, and powerful.
Eventually, it was that voice that became a source of warmth and stability in tumultuous times.
In 2007, the death of someone close put me in what felt like an inescapable abyss of guilt, pain, and sadness. My ascension to normalcy was slow and I subconsciously turned to what was a familiar band-aid in my life—baseball.
I immersed myself in the game, especially the Phillies. Almost daily, Kalas’ voice met me once I got home (thanks to the East Coast-West Coast time difference). I held on to the consistency and comfort I received from such a simple game and used it to pull me out of the paralyzing grief so I could heal.
It’s amazing how one person can impact the lives of so many—possibly without even knowing.
I was hoping that this would be the year I would meet Mr. Kalas and thank him for the great work he has done. Now, as he sits beyond this world, he can call the game for all those who have passed. My loved ones who now get to bask in the color of his voice can pass my message on to the great Harry Kalas.
Thanks for everything, Harry Kalas. The world has lost a legend, but your voice will never be forgotten.
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