Two months ago, the Fan wrote a piece about Mark Fidrych. Looking back, the piece now feels like a eulogy. The "Bird" died today at the age of 54, apparently while working on his truck. His death is a shock as he was an important part of this writer's past and a memory that lingers to this day. It seems strangely fitting that Fidrych would die in such a fashion. He was such a down to earth kind of guy. That's what we all loved about him. We knew he was as genuine as they come. And for a season, he thrilled us.
The old saying is that bad things happen in "threes." Earlier we had the death of Nick Adenhart, then Fidrych and we also learned today of the death of the "voice" of the Phillies, Harry Kalas. The Fan hadn't been aware of Kalas, for some reason, until reading the news stories about his death and the tribute films of him calling memorable moments in Phillies' history. The voice was recognized for his work for NFL Films, where he succeeded another Philadelphia legend, John Facenda. The voice is unmistakable.
Though the Fan was unaware of Kalas, it wasn't long ago that the Fan's childhood "uncle," Phil Rizzuto, passed away and as anyone who grew up watching the Yankees mourned that loss, so must Philadelphia fans mourn their long time voice. Kalas was a fixture in Philadelphia for 39 years. And much like Fidrych, it is fitting that Kalas collapsed at the ballpark, where he was getting ready to announce a game.
It's been a tough week for baseball fans and a very sad one. We wish peace and comfort for all the loved ones of those that have passed from us and we will keep their memory with us.