Yesterday marked one year since baseball lost the voice of Pete Van Wieren. Today, marks the loss of another great voice. Skip Caray, Wieren’s long-time broadcasting partner.
Caray, whose real name was Harry Christopher Caray Jr, was a native of St. Louis, Missouri and an University of Missouri alumni. He is also the son of long-time Chicago Cubs announcer, Harry Caray.
Caray started his broadcasting career at Saint Louis University and St. Louis Hawks basketball. When the Hawks moved to Atlanta, he moved with them and then became an announcer for the Flames. He also took on a role as a morning sportscaster on WSB-AM.
In 1976, he began his career with the Atlanta Braves alongside Wieren. In 2004, Caray was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame. 2 years later he signed a new 3 year contract with the Braves radio but in ’07 he was kept exclusively for Braves games when they been moved from TBS to Peachtree TV. He also hosted a call-in pre-game show up until 2004.
Caray had a witty and sarcastic sense of humor. Once in 2000, Caray, along with Wieren, Don Sutton, and Joe Simpson was banned from Braves’ flights for criticizing catcher Javy Lopez. Then in 2003, him and Wieren was banned from TV Braves games on TBS for “home team” bias. Ultimately, they returned once ratings dropped and so many was unhappy with the move. But, in 2007, they were permanently took off the air.
The 6 time Georgia Sportscaster-of-the Year and Georgia-area Emmy winner passed away on August 3, 2008. He had called a Braves game 3 days earlier. His son, Chip, along with co-broadcaster’s Simpson and Sutton are still currently calling Braves games. Chip and Simpson do the tv broadcast as Sutton is still in the radio.
Caray’s way of calling games will always be a favorite for fans, especially Braves fans. Here are some of his most famous calls.
- Otis Nixon’s Catch. “There’s a drive deep right-center field, Nixon goes as far as he can gooo…he caught the ball! He caught the ball! I can’t believe it! What a catch by Otis Nixon! He took a home run away!”
- 1992 NL Championship Series. “A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there, we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here’s the throw to the plate! He is…SAFE! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!…Braves win! They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream! He’s down at the bottom of a huge pile at the plate! They help him to his feet. Frank Cabrera got the game winner! The Atlanta Braves are National League champions again! This crowd is going berserk, listen!”
- 1995 World Series Championship “Mark gets the sign, the wind and the pitch here it is… swung, fly ball deep left center, Grissom on the run… Yes! Yes! Yes! The Atlanta Braves have given you a championship! Listen to this crowd! A mob scene on the field. Wohlers gets ’em one, two, three. A couple of fans rushing on the field. The Atlanta Braves have brought the first championship to Atlanta!”