Kalas to stay; Matthews to join crew

Kalas to stay; Matthews to join crew

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For those who grew up listening to the baritone stylings of Harry Kalas, this will come as welcome news.

The Hall of Fame broadcaster will return for at least three more seasons, the Phillies announced Monday, the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings.

Larry Andersen, Chris Wheeler and Scott Franzke will also return, and they will be joined by former Phillies outfielder Gary Matthews, who will assist with color commentary. As had been widely speculated, Scott Graham, who had been with the Phillies since 1991, will not return.

"Harry's the voice of the Phillies and we're delighted he plans on continuing his Hall of Fame career," manager of broadcasting for the Phillies Rob Brooks said in a statement.

"I'm excited to be able to continue calling Phillies games," Kalas said. "I really like the makeup of this club. The future -- with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins -- is very bright."

Kalas began broadcasting Major League Baseball with the Astros in 1965, and has been in Philadelphia since '71. That makes him the eighth-longest tenured broadcaster, behind Los Angeles' Vin Scully and Houston's Milo Hamilton, among others.

"I can't imagine growing up with anyone other than Harry Kalas broadcasting Phillies games," Mike Piazza, who grew up in Norristown, Pa., once said. "I truly didn't consider myself a Major Leaguer until I heard him do his first call for me."

Kalas was enshrined in the broadcasters' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2002, when he won the Ford C. Frick Award.

Matthews was a Major League outfielder for more than 15 years, including three years in Philadelphia, 1981-83. He was the MVP in the 1983 National League Championship Series, when the Phillies defeated the Dodgers. He also played for the Giants, Braves, Cubs and finished his career with the Mariners in 1987. His son, Gary Matthews Jr., is also a big-league outfielder, and recently signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Angels.

Matthews, 56, served as a color analyst for Toronto radio broadcasts from 2000-01. Since then, he has been a coach with the Brewers (2002) and Cubs (2003-06), and wasn't retained by new manager Lou Piniella.

Specific roles of the broadcasters will be determined in Spring Training.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.