04/13/09 11:38 PM ET
Sox have fond memories of Kalas
Castiglione, Francona saddened by announcer's passing
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
"In 1980, that was when networks had it exclusively and he didn't get to do [the last out]," Castiglione said. "I told him, 'I heard your last out. I was really glad you got a chance to do it.' He really relished it."
As it turns out, that was the last conversation Castiglione ever had with Kalas, who died Monday inside the broadcast booth before a Phillies-Nationals game in Washington.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona has plenty of fond memories of Kalas from the four years he spent as manager of the Phillies, form 1997-2000.
"What a sweetheart," Francona said. "A voice that is unmatched. I used to tease him all the time. I'd say, 'Harry, I feel like I hear you more in the winter than I do in the summer' because he'd be on a commercial or a football game or radio. Everybody wanted him. But he was a gentleman. Philadelphia can be a tough town, but I'm sure they'll really pour out some emotion for Harry. He's been there a long time."
Francona also has a unique remembrance of Kalas.
"He [announced] our first fantasy football draft [with the Phillies]," Francona said. "That was incredible. It was unbelievable. We didn't do a lot of good things there, but we did that pretty good."
For another broadcaster, it was hard not to be awed by Kalas.
"I loved him," said Castiglione. "He had a lot of big events. He did the first game in the Astrodome. I think he did the first game at the Vet and Citizens Bank Park. He was the voice of NFL Films. He had a great time. He loved players. He loved that '93 Phillies team."
And as much as other people tried, there was no duplicating Kalas.
"He had a classic style," Castiglione. "A lot of people mimicked him. Not on the air because you couldn't. He was unique."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.