Kalas' casket to be on view in ballpark

Updated: April 16, 2009, 1:04 PM ET
By Sal Paolantonio | ESPN.com

This story has been corrected. Read below

The casket containing the body of Hall of Fame Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas will be on view beginning at 8:45 a.m. ET Saturday at home plate at Citizens Bank Park.

Fans will be able to file past Kalas' casket and pay their respects for about four hours, after which there will be a memorial service.

Kalas died Monday after collapsing in the broadcast booth before the Phillies' 9-8 victory over the Washington Nationals. He was 73.

It will be the second time a baseball figure will be honored this way at a major league ballpark since Aug. 17, 1948, when Babe Ruth's casket was on view at Yankee Stadium.

Jack Buck, the revered voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, received a similar public viewing at Busch Stadium after he died in June 2002 at the age of 77.

"To be honored in the same way as Babe Ruth tells you just how much Harry Kalas was part of the consciousness of the fans of Philadelphia," said Tom Shieber, senior curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

According to news reports at the time, police estimated 50,000 people filed past Ruth's casket on the field at Yankee Stadium.

The Phillies organization, which decided to honor Kalas in this historic way, will fly the team's flag at half-staff. Gates will open at 8 a.m. ET.

Sal Paolantonio is a reporter for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

In an April 15 story on ESPN.com about plans for a Harry Kalas memorial service in Philadelphia, information provided to ESPN incorrectly stated that Kalas would be the first person honored with a tribute at home plate since Babe Ruth in 1948. St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck received a similar public viewing at Busch Stadium after he died in June 2002.

Sal Paolantonio

SportsCenter correspondent / NFL reporter
Sal Paolantonio joined ESPN as a SportsCenter correspondent in August 1995, primarily reporting on the NFL. Beginning in 2004, he also served as host of NFL Match-Up, a weekly "Xs and Os" football show produced by NFL Films.

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