Monday, September 1, 2008

Holy Cow...

We've looked at some hopeless amateur announcers in our articles "Boom Goes The Dynamite..." and "And That Happened..." so we thought it was the perfect time to look at a professional announcer ... who's just as hopeless but does it with much more style.

The announcer in question is Harold Christopher Carabina or as he's better known....Harry Caray.

Caray got his first gig in 1945 with the Cardinals. In St Louis, Caray developed his taste for Budweiser and gained his reputation of being a big drinker. In 1969, after 24 years of service to the Cardinal organisation Harry was surprisingly fired by owner August Busch Jr. It was rumoured that Caray was let go fired because he had an affair with the owner's daughter-in-law ... although Caray denies it.

He moved on to broadcast games with the Oakland Athletics, but didn't get along with owner Charles Findley and left after only one season.

Next he went to the Chicago White Sox where he quickly became a fan favourite. While working for the Sox he starting singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch which he later became famous for.

When the White Sox decided to switch to a pay cable service (the first team ever) Caray decided to move on to his final destination ... the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs and Caray were broadcast on WGN which was broadcast across American ... for free. Harry Caray fans were now located all across the country.
Harry Caray was a great quote factory ... only problem was most of them were due Harry messing something up. Our favourite would have to be: "Aw, how could he (Jorge Orta) lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."

Caray has as distinctive of a style as an announcer can get:

We love his pronunciation of Isringhausen. Classic Caray. He sounded like he was into the hooch every game which somehow only seemed to add to his charm. His distinctive style encouraged impersonators like:
As he got older his "Grampa Simpson" moments increased like in this clip where Caray waxes poetically on Cracker Jacks.

Harry passed away in 1998, but his legend lives on. Since his death, the Cubs bring in special guests to fill in for Harry during the seventh inning stretch ... which didn't work out every time. Nobody does it like Harry:


Cubbiesin08 said...

I remember him getting into trouble with Hideo Nomo, am I mistaken?

Waikiki Hockey said...

Why yes he did. Ahh the evil side of Harry Carey.

From the article (,

"Caray was interviewing the Cubs' manager about Japanese rookie pitcher Hideo Nomo when he jokingly asked, "Well my eyes are slanty enough, how 'bout yours?"

Caray refused to apologize and his network's only action was to call the event "unfortunate". Times have changed.

Cubbiesin08 said...

Yeah that's right. A drunk and a racist...way to go Caray!

Waikiki Hockey said...

We're not so sure he's a racist. The comment, in typical Caray fashion, is bizarre. We're not sure what it means...good or bad.

Daisuke Matsuzaka said...

Yeah, that's still racism you Canadian fuck.

Waikiki Hockey said...

Sorry Dice-K, didn't mean to offend your proud heritage.

What we meant to say was it's definitely a racist comment but because it made no sense we're not sure if he's a racist or not.

Hediki Okajima said...

That makes sense. I knew you Canadians were swell.