Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed out in a press box at Nationals Park today and was pronounced dead at GW Hospital. He was 73.
"We lost our voice today," team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. "He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization."
Nats acting GM Mike Rizzo talked to Montgomery after Kalas' collapse but there was never really a thought of canceling the game; Montgomery told Rizzo that Kalas would have wanted them to play. There will be a moment for silence for both Nick Adenhart of Hagerstown and for Kalas.
"Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere."
Montgomery said that Kalas was found unconscious in a broadcast booth, where he was preparing to work Monday's game against the Nationals. He was found by the Phillies director of broadcasting at about 12:30 p.m.
Montgomery called his condition serious at that time, and the Phillies closed the visitors' clubhouse to the media.
Kalas missed most of spring training after undergoing surgery in February. The team declined to reveal details of the surgery, saying it was a "minor medical procedure."
Kalas, who has broadcast Phillies games since 1971, was known for his distinctive "Outta here!" home run call. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2002. He was in the final year of a three-year contract with the Phillies. Kalas also narrated for NFL Films, broadcast Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl and did the voice-overs for the Chunky Soup commercials.