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Phillies to host Kalas memorial service

Phils to host Kalas memorial service

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Schmidt is a legend in Philadelphia, but even he knows he is no Harry Kalas.

Nobody is.

Nobody ever will be.

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"Harry Kalas -- he's household," Schmidt said Friday at Citizens Bank Park. "He's a household name. He's a guy they depended on for 40 years. I'm just a guy that played for 17 of them, just like all the other Phillies. We come and go. The guys there are here now, they're going to be gone. We're all going to move on. Harry was just always here. He was always here for you."

Harry Kalas, 1936-2009

The Phillies honored Kalas, who died Monday at 73, before and during Friday's game against the Padres.

On Saturday, a memorial service for Kalas will be held from 8 a.m.-12:45 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park. A tribute program begins at 1:30 p.m. Fans can watch the tribute live on MLB.com and Phillies.com, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Web sites will pick up coverage from Comcast beginning at noon.

Following Saturday's tribute, Comcast will replay Friday's game against the Padres.

A video tribute was shown on PhanaVision before Friday's game. Harry's three sons -- Todd, Brad and Kane -- threw first balls to Schmidt, John Kruk and Jimmy Rollins, who represented the last three decades of Phillies baseball with Kalas. There was a moment of silence before Kane sang the national anthem.

Rollins held a pair of Kalas' famous white shoes during the anthem. Chase Utley held Kalas' powder blue sport coat.

The first half-inning on Comcast Network Philadelphia was silent, with no commentary.

The Phillies painted Kalas' signature on the field for the seven-game homestand. A "HK" billboard is on the outfield wall in left-center field, which will be displayed the entire season. The Phillies' TV booth has been renamed the Harry Kalas Broadcast Booth.

The Phillies also plan to play Kalas' "Outta here!" call whenever a Phillies player homers at the Bank. It didn't take long to hear it, as Utley hit a three-run home run to right field in the first inning.

The Phils played a video of Kalas singing "High Hopes" during the seventh-inning stretch.

"If you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn, he may have been the greatest person to grace Philadelphia in the history of the city, when you think about it," Schmidt said. "As many lives as he affected over the time that he lived in Philadelphia, who would have had a bigger impact on the city? Who would have? If anybody can think of somebody, I'm willing to hear it, but I don't know."

On Sunday at 12:30 p.m., there will be a special one-hour "Behind the Phillies" program, which honors Kalas.

All for Harry? When you're as big as Ben Franklin, absolutely.

Todd Zolecki 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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