Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skip Caray

To many baseball fans -- particularly fans of the Chicago Cubs or long-time fans of the St. Louis Cardinals -- the name "Caray" in the announcer's booth meant Harry Caray.

Not to me.

Being a long-time Atlanta Braves fan, "Caray" has meant Skip Caray, who began announcing for the Braves in 1976.

For a Braves fan, I was disappointed when Milo Hamilton was fired after the 1975 season. I enjoyed listening to the team of Hamilton and Ernie Johnson. They were Braves baseball in my mind.

But, when the 1976 season came, I was working Braves games at the radio station in my home town. And this new broadcast team of Pete Van Wieren and Skip Caray joining Ernie Johnson behind the microphone was good. Very good.

Suddenly, I didn't miss Milo Hamilton so much.

Ernie was ... well, Ernie. He had been a Braves player in Boston and Milwaukee, joining their broadcast team in 1962, moving with the team to Atlanta in 1966. He was the Braves. And his acceptance of Pete and Skip helped.

But really, it was Pete's knowledge of the game and Skip's sense of humor that endeared them to me ... and to Braves fans.

After Ernie left, Pete and Skip were still there. Other announcers came and went. Joe Simpson and Don Sutton were my favorites of the others. Chip Caray and Mark Lemke have taken some getting used to, but they're alright.

But, through it all, Pete and Skip have been there.

And now Skip is gone.

Skip Caray died today.

It looks like he lay down to take a nap and never woke up.

That's seem like a good way to go.

With death, like with announcing baseball games, Skip Caray did it right.

I'm gonna miss him.

1 comment:

  1. Rest In Peace Skip Carey--

    We got XM radio just so I could hear Skip do home games. No, he didn't appeal to everyone, and that's because he spoke his mind. He didn't kiss ass like too many broadcasters today do, and he didn't go the other way and be rude and hateful just to generate ratings or phone calls like the rest do today. Even with the Braves losing by a wide margin, you didn't want to turn the TV or radio off because you knew you might miss something. I never got to meet him but have always heard he was a gentleman. He didn't tolerate idiots well on the pregame show, but was never mean about it. If more of us didn't tolerate the idiots, maybe they wouldn't act so idiotic.


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