02/23/09 4:40 PM EST
Kalas close to returning to Phils' booth
Following medical procedure, Hall of Fame announcer feeling good
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He will be next month.
Kalas had an undisclosed minor medical procedure earlier this month, but is home in Media, Pa., and said to be doing well.
"I'm feeling better and better every day," Kalas said Monday in a telephone interview. "I'm getting there."
Kalas, who turns 73 on March 26, plans to arrive in Clearwater on March 14, so he can broadcast the March 15 game against the Cardinals at Bright House Field. He said he expects to be ready to go once the regular season starts April 5.
But what about after this year? Kalas' contract with the Phillies expires after 2009.
"The Phillies have graciously said it's my call when I want to hang it up," said Kalas, who has been broadcasting for the Phillies since 1971. "And I still really enjoy it. I still love to go to the ballpark and call the games. There is no timetable [for retirement], really."
Kalas doesn't enjoy the travel much, but added that he doesn't envision himself cutting back on travel to ease the wear and tear. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully does not make road trips east of Denver, so it has been done.
"It's not that much of a burden with our charter flights," Kalas said. "It makes travel a whole lot easier when you travel with the ballclub. And I'd like to do the whole season. I want to follow them daily."
Asked why he still enjoys it, Kalas said, "You never know what you're going to see at the good old ballpark. And this team is a really fun team to watch. They really accomplished what they did as a team. It's really a fun bunch to be around."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.