There are rarely two opinions that are alike when it comes to sports, but even the most jaded sports fan has to agree that Harry Kalas was pretty great. The remarkable part was that Harry loved the fans just as much as they loved him.
And so the tributes and remembrances pour in and chances are they will never stop. Makeshift shrines have been set up at the ballpark, stories come like a deluge from a flood, as smiles and tears intersect in a crazy convergence of emotion.
After all, in the end we're all only as good as the way we treated our friends. Since Harry Kalas was friends to everyone, well, the tributes are fitting.
"We knew it was an incredible relationship that Dad always had with the fans," his son Todd Kalas said on Tuesday. "When I first walked up, and I see the fan tribute on the corner there [at the Mike Schmidt statue at the front of the ballpark] - that that was tough. I kind of lost it. I couldn't look at it."
Certainly that sentiment can be applied to Phillies games. Really, who can remember a Phillies game without Harry Kalas. It's never existed in my lifetime. So maybe it's a fitting tribute that for the first half inning of Friday's game there will be no commentary on television.
Moreover, the tributes from far away from Philadelphia are the most interesting. For instance Leonard Shapiro of The Washington Post, a city with pretty much no real pro sports history (even the Redskins were not originally established in the city), wrote about Harry even though he admitted that he never knew the man or heard him call a Phillies game.
Even folks who didn't spend a long time in the city got it. Boston guy Paul Flannery, who worked for a while at the Delco Times (and would have been a helluva baseball writer), offered something for the folks in Boston on WEEI's web site. Again, Paul wasn't in Philly for long, but he was here long enough to know what we all knew.
Finally, the most accurate tribute comes from an LA guy and the dean of sports broadcasters (maybe even the greatest broadcaster ever), Vin Scully. Ol' Vin started calling Dodgers games in 1954 when they were still in Brooklyn, so he's seen a thing or two in his day.
Before Monday's home opener in Los Angeles, Scully took the time to talk to reporters about HK:
"He had World Series rings, a Hall of Fame announcer, but he was a wonderful guy. Everybody loved Harry. I would think, of all the people in baseball to grieve, I might guess that Mike Schmidt, the Hall of Fame third baseman (would the most). I know how much he admired Harry and I know how much Harry thought of him. I think Mike, along with many other people (will be mourning). And I'm sure the city of Philadelphia has been just decimated, because they did love him completely."
But more importantly:
"Above all, yeah, he was a wonderful talent, but he really was a delightful guy. First and foremost."
There are thousands more and likely thousands more to come. And just like with Harry calling a ballgame, we probably won't be able to pull ourselves away.