Phillies announcer Harry Kalas collapsed early this afternoon in the Nationals Park press box and died at George Washington University Medical Center. The Inquirer writes:

“The cause of the death was not announced. Today’s game against the Nationals will be played, but the team will not visit the White House tomorrow.

‘We lost Harry today,’ David Montgomery, the team president, said. ‘We lost our voice.’

Mr. Kalas, who was found unconsious, missed most of spring training after undergoing undisclosed surgery in Feburary. That surgery was unrelated to the detached retina that sidelined him for part of last season.

Mr. Kalas, who turned 73 on March 26, has broadcast Phillies games since 1971. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. He is entering the final season of a 3-year contract that he signed in December 2006.”

The Post reports:

“Montgomery said that Kalas was found unconscious in a broadcast booth, where he was preparing to work Monday’s game against the Nationals. He was found by the Phillies director of broadcasting at about 12:30 p.m.

Montgomery called his condition serious at that time, and the Phillies closed the visitors’ clubhouse to the media….

Kalas, who has broadcast Phillies games since 1971, was known for his distinctive “Outta here!” home run call. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2002.”

There are tons of comments pouring into the Phillies website. The Philadelphia City Paper offers its own tribute. Pop Cesspool offers his respects. ESPN has text and video. Surely, today’s home-opener will be a sad affair. Meanwhile, the Nats can’t even sellout their home opener.