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Skip Caray 1939 - 2008

150px-SkipCaray.PNGI write for three sites, yet have no good place to grieve over Skip Caray, who died in his sleep over the weekend. And since my colleague over at WIMB throws stones at my head when I write about sports over there, QL is the benefactor of this completely off-topic post.

I loved Skip Caray. The droll, often sarcastic broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves over the last 33 years had been relegated mostly to radio broadcasting over the last couple of years and, even before that, he’d started to sound a little like his old man, Harry Caray, in his later years, i.e., a little drunk and a little senile. But he was always entertaining. I grew up on Skip — in fact, between the ages of 10 and 22, there’s probably nobody I spent more of my life with than Skip Caray, back when TBS broadcast 140 games a year, few of which I missed. He was a comforting voice, wry and witty, and he introduced me to the phrase, “a can of corn.” And during the dark years, 1984 - 1990, Caray often even made fun of the Braves, as only a man who loved them could. (He once said during a broadcast: “And like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves take the field.”) He was a homer, through and through, and even when TBS tried to telecast the Braves games a little more objectively, Caray resisted, always referring to the Braves as “us” and “we.” (They took him off the air at one point, but the Braves fans got him back on within weeks).

He was a good guy. And though I haven’t heard him in a few years, when I heard of his death, I felt a deep pang, the ache of my childhood. Skip Caray will always be tied to my favorite sports moment, ever: The 1992 NLCS, when Sid Bream scored on a Francisco Cabrera single, putting the Braves in the World Series:

“Here comes Bream! Here’s the throw to the plate! He iiiiiiiisssssssss … safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! … Braves win!”

Damn: I wish I could find video of that somewhere. It was the first and only time I’d ever wept at a sporting event.

RIP Skip Caray. You’ll be missed, old man.

Update: Thanks Kushiro for the video. I could listen to it over and over again. In fact, I think I will.

| Comments (6)


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At the risk of sounding like a big baseball sap (which is pretty risky since I'm a big baseball sap), I know just how you feel. When Harry died, I was bereft. He always felt more like a fan than an employee, which made the game seem a little less like a business. Of course, we've still got Ron Santo on the radio.

Thanks so much for posting this. I feel the exact same way. It's so funny that you mention a "can of corn" because that is one of the many baseball terms that I learned courtesy of Skip. I used to mute the Fox broadcast and listen to Skip on the radio. Much like Larry Munson is to the Georgia Bulldog nation, Skip Caray was our voice and our champion. He will be remembered.

Thanks for this Dustin. I felt a little silly about the tears that followed when I found out that Skip, a man I never met, had died. I watched those games on TBS daily from the age of nine until the bastards at Time Warner took them away. I always loved Skip's unabashed homerism and it's nice to see someone besides the AP giving him some love.

Favorite non-play-call Skip moment: early in the 2005 season, the Braves were playing a home game, and my boyfriend and I started talking about how parts of the outfield were in bad shape. A few minutes later, Pete commented that a mistake had been made with the seeding that spring but that the grounds crew was working to correct it. Not missing a beat, Skip cracked "That's some bad grass."

Thanks from me too.
"A can of corn" - good stuff.
I miss him already.

Video = Goosebumps