Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas had a special way of making every play feel like a season-defining moment, even if the team had long since been eliminated from the playoff race. Kalas' golden pipes seem to reach another level when talking about special players, such as Chase Utley. While Kalas loved Utley, he may have been the runner-up to Darren Daulton in terms of being Kalas' favorite Phillie.
Todd Kalas, Harry's son and the current Houston Astros play-by-play announcer, tweeted yesterday evening that his father's favorite Phillies team that he ever got to announce for was the 1993 National League championship team. Daulton was, of course, the leader of the 1993 team that shocked the world and came two wins away from winning what would have been the second World Series title in club history:
I know Dad's favorite Phils team was the wonderfully wacky group of grinders in '93. Daulton was the heart/soul of that squad. #RIPDutch— Todd Kalas (@RealToddKalas) August 7, 2017
Steve Bucci of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia went a step further, saying that Kalas once paid the ultimate compliment to him about Daulton:
Harry Kalas once told me he thought Dutch was the greatest leader he ever saw in sports. #RIPDutch— Steve Bucci (@stevebooch) August 7, 2017
Kalas himself glowed about Daulton after the team won the 1993 National League East title:
"There's their leader, catcher Darren Daulton. Darren Daulton is a force behind the plate - and in the clubhouse, everybody listens to Dutch."
Though Kalas would pass away in 2009, this call lived on through Daulton's early 2010s radio show "Talkin' Baseball With Dutch" on 97.5 The Fanatic. This specific snippet of Kalas discussing the future Phillies Wall of Famer was part of the intro for a show that was only on for a few seasons, but became a part of all of our summers during the tail end of the greatest run in franchise history.
The love between the two men was mutual. No picture is available to us, but one of the most iconic pictures of Kalas' career was him wearing a white suit and embracing Daulton at Veterans Stadium during a 2000 ceremony to honor Kalas for having announced for the team for three decades. Daulton would speak briefly about Kalas (again, no video can be found of this), but you got the sense looking at the picture that Daulton knew there wasn't a speech he could make to a stadium full of fans that would show how much he appreciated Kalas' friendship.
Both men, Daulton especially, died far too young. But the impact that they had on the lives of those that they interacted with and each other's lives will live on for some time to come.