In the midst of post-season excitement, I've finally had the opportunity to dust off my copy of Harry the K: The Remarkable Life of Harry Kalas. The symptoms of Phillies Fever just wouldn't be complete without momentary reflections about our broadcasting legend.
The book describes Harry's humble beginnings, from a low-profile job announcing for the Hawaii Islanders to his first big-time gig with the Houston Astros. After struggling to find his pace with little help from his senior broadcast partners in Houston, he vowed to always help the new guy in the business. This included Scott Franzke.
I must admit that I've always had a soft spot for Franzke, after he came out to the outfield bar in Clearwater, FL during Phillies Spring Training 2009, where he socialized with fans for a good hour, as if he was just part of the gang.
Still, it is not until you hear Franzke in his element that his beaming passion for the game (and for our Phightin' Phils) becomes evident. His flawless call at the completion of Roy Halladay's no-hitter, mottled with unrefrained excitement, paints Franzke as every bit the consumate professional and fan. Under Kalas's tutelage, Scott Franzke obviously learned a great deal.
Keith Groller of The Morning Call quotes Franzke saying, "There's a lot of value in having a home run call or a catch-phrase, but a lot of that comes with longevity. I've always felt like I'll call it the way I see it. I don't want to be beholden to a certain call because every home run is different and every home run can be described differently." The young announcer knows that he has a long road of experience ahead of him, but undeniably, he's doing a pretty phenomenal job here and now.
Now, as I watch my boyfriend frantically try to synch radio broadcasts of the Phils game with television play-by-play, it's a largely known fact that he's jonesing to hear Franzke's voice.
Could Scott be the newest man crush of Red October? I shudder to think…