When Citizen’s Bank Park opened, Phillies President Dave Montgomery had the intention of opening a restaurant in the outfield to honor Hall of Fame broadcaster indefinitely.
Less than a year after Kalas’ death, that plan may be scrapped in the near future as Harry the K’s restaurant may have a new moniker.
Kalas’ widow, Eileen, has hired an attorney to revise the deal Kalas had in place.
According to our buddy, Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross, Eileen says the original deal was worked out with Kalas’ company Tobra Inc.. However, that company is now defunct. The deal paid Kalas $1,000 a year plus a small percentage of the restaurant’s revenue.
Eileen is now trying to work out a deal to extend beyond 2010. It doesn’t look likely at this point.
The Phillies undoubtedly want Kalas’ name to live on in the ballpark.
“The Phillies want the naming to continue indefinitely,” Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark told Gross. “However, Dion (Rassias, Eileen Kalas’ attorney) indicated that Eileen is looking for different financial terms and she has the right to terminate its use at the end of the 2010 season. David expressed his disappointment to Dion, since our goal was, and continues to be, to honor Harry, who was thrilled when David told him that the restaurant would perpetually bear his name.”
The bottom line is that the restaurant must live on. Kalas was the one constant in Philadelphia for the last four decades. Baseball fans around the nation think of Kalas whenever their team plays the Phillies, much like we associate Harry Caray with the Cubs and Vin Scully with the Dodgers.
Letting Kalas name leave the ballpark for a few thousand dollars is unconscionable. $1,000 a year may be a bit low. Surely, the Phillies can up their offer and Eileen can come down on what she wants. There has to be a middle ground here. Let’s hope common sense prevails and money isn’t an issue in the coming months.