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Uecker saddened by loss of Kalas

Uecker saddened by loss of Kalas

MILWAUKEE -- Bob Uecker, the voice of the Brewers who went into the broadcast wing of the Hall of Fame in 2003, was saddened Monday by the passing of the man who went before him.

Harry Kalas, 1936-2009

Harry Kalas, the longtime voice of the Phillies whose voice also was synonymous with NFL Films, passed away just before Monday's Phillies-Nationals game in Washington.

"I'm sad today," Uecker said. "He's one of my all-time favorite people -- an easy-going guy and a great broadcaster for the Phillies and NFL. What a versatile, talented guy, and he never let you know. He was just Harry.

"He always reminded me of a character from [the 1942 film] Casablanca -- baggy pants, the white shoes. He'd have a hot toddy every once in a while. He was just an easy-going guy, and he was the same guy in the booth. If you didn't like Harry Kalas, you didn't like anybody."

Brewers starter Dave Bush certainly liked Kalas. He grew up in greater Philadelphia and attended the same high school, albeit a decade or more later, as two of Kalas' three sons.

"One of the biggest thrills of my career was hearing him call one of my games for the first time," said Bush, who has faced the Phillies six times, including three games at Citizens Bank Park. "From growing up, I remembered the voice. When I was a kid, I thought all announcers talked like that."

Bush now knows they do not.

Brewers right-hander Mark DiFelice, 32, grew up in Philadelphia's northwest suburbs and particularly remembered Kalas' call of Mike Schmidt's 500th home run.

"I grew up listening to him, not just as the voice of the Phillies, but the voice of NFL Films," DiFelice said. "I never met him, but I remember Schmidt's 500th home run and Harry saying, 'That ball is outta here!' It's definitely a sad day for Philadelphia."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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