Halfway through the first inning, there were still quite a few empty seats at last night’s Phillies game.
But not because the game wasn’t sold out.
It was due to fans trying to make their way back after watching the unveiling of the Harry Kalas statue at Citizens Bank Park.
After two years of anticipation, the statue was unveiled near Section 141. A 15-minute ceremony ended with Steve Carlton and Jimmy Rollins pulling a red cloth off and revealing Kalas’ bronze likeness. Immediately, chants of “Harry, Harry” rang out.
“It’s all surreal,” said sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, who spent 16 months building it. “The sculpting part, that was my bliss. It was a labor of love.”
Kalas’ youngest son, Kane, got his first glimpse of it last Sunday. The idea and the money for his father’s monument came entirely from Phillies fans. He was genuinely touched.
“When they pulled off the tarp, I was standing next to my two brothers, and it was an emotional moment,” Kane said. “It was so precise and it just reminded me of dad. I’m so glad we can share this with the fans here in Philadelphia.”
A rendition of Kalas’ favorite song, Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes,” was played to end the festivities. Then, Roy Halladay threw out the first pitch.
“I’m glad Harry stopped crying, so we could get this game in,” Nowlan said.