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Harry the K: The Remarkable Life of Harry Kalas Hardcover – March 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; First Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762438967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762438969
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Miller’s dogged reportorial skills are considerable and are on impressive display in a book that is unvarnished and unsparing, but also straightforward and balanced…Miller's book will strike chords of recognition among Phillies followers, many of whom were raised hearing 'Hard to believe, Harry.'” 

Larry Kane, host of Comcast's The Voice of Reason
“This is a book I believe probably is the greatest Philadelphia sports book ever written. As a Philadelphia sports book, there is nothing better than this. This is the real stuff. This is not just who, what, when, where and why, but how and why it happened.” 

Angelo Cataldi, 610-WIP Morning Show Host
"I loved Harry Kalas before I read this book, and I love him more after reading it."

Queens Chronicle
"'Harry the K' is one of the best biographies, period, to hit the market in years."

The Trentonian
“Kalas’ life was recently depicted in a terrific book by Randy Miller, ‘Harry the K.’ I rarely do book endorsements, but it was a great literary monument to the man, myth and legend that he was, and it didn’t pull any punches about his personal life.”

Atlantic City Weekly
“Harry the K’s high hopes and career highlights are all here in a fascinating read for Phillies’ fans."

phillyBurbs.com
“A must for anyone who grew up with Harry.”

About the Author

Randy Miller has covered the Phillies for suburban Philadelphia newspapers Bucks County Courier Times, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times since 1996. He has spent countless hours in ballparks, press boxes, and hotel bars with Harry Kalas and others in the Phillies organization. A native of Jeannette, Pa., Miller resides outside Philadelphia in Fairless Hills, Pa.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
55%
4 star
37%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 38 customer reviews
In fact, with better editing, this book would be half the number of pages.
PAinPA
This book was purchased as a gift and, although the recipient did not yet read it, he seemed very happy with the book.
Lori D. Horst
I grew up outside of Philadelphia,hearing Mr. Kalas' voice over the radio as my father would listen to the games.
D. Hines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Anderson on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Many across the country may not know "Harry the K", but nonetheless, you need to read this book! You may start out not knowing who he was, and it pains me to use that in the past tense, but you likely knew his voice.

This is a story about a solitary, humble man, whose tremendous kindnesses and generosity became legend to the millions who came to know him.

People outside of the broadcasting reach of Philadelphia heard his Campbell Chunky Soup commercials, his Coors Light promotions and many, many others.

He picked up the mantel when John Facenda, the man known as NFL Films' "Voice of God" left us. He did Notre Dame football and basketball. He was the voice of Westwood One's weekly NFL radio broadcast.

But, to those of us in reach of the Philadelphia airwaves, Harry was for thirty-eight years our closest friend and the play-by-play announcer for the Phillies.

At the end, as Mike Jack Schmidt said in his eloquent eulogy, "If you can look past Ben Franklin and William Penn, Harry Kalas might have been the greatest person to ever grace Philadelphia".

I consider myself somewhat a student of history. Schmidt was right!

This is a book that will interest you, captivate you, make you laugh, anger you and make you cry; the latter especially so if you are from Philadelphia or its surrounds. In fact, the final three chapters are absolutely heart-wrenching!

This is not a book about baseball. It's not a book about Philadelphia. It is a very well researched and written book by Randy Miller about a wonderful, wonderful fun loving, good man, who had flaws like the rest of us. But, boy, what virtues! As for now, I'm "outta heeeeere!"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William DiMarco on March 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm from New York, so outside of a couple of games on the "Extra Innings" package hearing Harry Kalas doing baseball, my exposure to him was strictly NFL Films & commercials. I was a little unsure buying this book, but I have to say it was excellent. The chapter on the feud with fellow Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler is especially fascinating & probably worth getting just for that. But overall, this is a fine story of a flawed man who achieved greatness & adulation for his work & the person he was. This is probably what a lot of biographies should be, telling of a life with warts and all, but without getting bogged down by it or alternately giving only scant attention to it. I imagine Philadelphia fans would appreciate it even more than I did. One of the best baseball or biographies in general that I've read in a long while.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Adam Barrist on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Randy Miller has put together a brilliant, revealing and pointed portrayal of the life and times of the baritone grand master. He has, in a manner respectful to Harry and his family, told the stories that his other colleagues in the Philadelphia media were too afraid to tell. The reader also learns a lot about the lives of Richie Ashburn and Chris Wheeler, related to and independent of their interactions with Harry. The book is a must for any lifelong Phillies fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I asked for Harry the K: The Remarkable Life of Harry Kalas by Randy Miller for my birthday this year. The request wasn't because I'm a Phillies-fan--I am, but a marginal one at best. My reasons for this request were twofold. First, I was awed by the outpouring of affection for Harry by Philadelphia fans when he passed away last year. And second, book reviews that I read were intriguing. Harry's first and second wives both collaborated with Randy Miller and both approved of the final book, although neither wife speaks to the other. Sports writer Randy Miller has given us a biography as enjoyable and interesting as Harry Kalas was in person.

I think that Kalas can best be described as a "character." The son of a minister, Harry was a wild-child who gravitated toward alcohol, cigarettes, and women. He was also gifted with a rich, baritone voice. From a very young age, his goal was to become a sports announcer. He got his big break when he was hired as a sportscaster for a minor league baseball team in Hawaii. From there, he went to Houston and finally landed with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he remained until his death in a broadcasting booth 39 years later. Miller pulls no punches and gives an honest look at Harry's life, warts and all. On the plus side, he was a genuinely kind and likeable man, always willing to give of himself. On the minus side, he liked to party a little too hard, drink a little too much, and cheated on both wives. He started seeing second wife, Eileen (and they had a child together) before he was divorced from first wife, Jasmine.

Miller divides Harry the K into chapters that deal with all facets of Harry's life.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PJC on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a Phillies fan, it's interesting to hear the story of HK's life told with no punches pulled and no sugar coating.

Unfortunately, this book is filled with grammatical errors ("he had sang") and even a couple factual errors. For instance, the author writes that the Phillies swept the Brewers in the 2008 divisional series, when they won that series 3-1. The author even misquotes Kalas on the most important call he ever made, the 2008 World Series clincher. The book quotes Kalas as saying "Watch this city celebrate," when what he said was, "Let this city celebrate." Most Phillies fans have heard that call enough times to realize that the book has it wrong.

It's a great read, but it was perhaps slapped together a little too quickly.
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