Harry Kalas' voice rang out at the Spectrum last night: "We're going to have a pinch hitter here with the bases loaded and two outs in the 9th innning. It looks like Bruce Springsteen, just called up. They call him the Boss..." Kalas recorded the bit in 1985 at the request of Rob Charry, then of rock radio station WIOQ and now of sports talk radio WIP, when Springsteen came back to Philadelphia on the second leg of the Born in the U.S.A. tour to play a pair of shows at Veterans Stadium. (Those were the string of shows where he first played Seeds, the Reagan recession-era rager that he did both nights at the Spectrum this week. But I digress...)
Comcast-Spectacor PR guy Ike Richman passed it along, and the Boss used it last night as a genius bit of theater as an intro to "Thunder Road," complete with Springsteen muttering "Hard to believe, Harry!," Richie Ashburn style. it was the second biggest mind blower of the evening, right behind the mid-show cover of "London Calling."
"Here's the wind up, and the pitch... Swing and a long drive deep right center, it's gotta chance...A grand slam home run, Bruce Springsteen!" (Sorry folks, no "Outta here!") But there was a mock home run trot, with Springsteen blowing kisses to the crowd, right before the screen door slammed, and Mary's dress waved...
Here's the Kalas call.