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The Chicago Traveler

Ah One, Ah Two, Ah Three!

by Matt B on February 18th, 2008

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Chicago legend Harry Caray. He was the iconic radio and television announcer for the Chicago Cubs.

harry caray
Holy Cow!
Harry Caray trained himself to use this expression to avoid any chance of using profanity on the air.

Harry Caray, born Harry Carabina, began his baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1945. His personality and charm not only earned him plenty of radio fans, but he also became quite influential amongst the team personnel itself. In 1969 however, he was unexpectedly fired. Of course, there are several suspected theories as to why, everything from business grudges to accusations of sleeping with the boss' daughter(-in-law).

Caray then broadcasted for the Oakland Athletics, but he didn't get along with the owner, so he moved on to the Chicago White Sox. Windy City residents loved the new announcer, even if the ballplayers and his short-lasting co-hosts didn't. It wasn't until 1976, when Harry was paired with former outfielder Jimmy Piersall, that Caray was able to find a partner that both he and Chicagoans enjoyed watching the Cubs with. Above all else, he was a fan's broadcaster, who wasn't afraid to criticize all the players, including the ones on his home team.

harry caray
It might be… it could be… it is! Home Run!
Cubs win! Cubs win!

In 1981, Caray joined the Chicago Cubs. Because the Cubs' games were broadcast on WGN, which offered its programming across the U.S. for free, it wasn't long before Caray became a nationwide sensation. Millions of fans fell in love with his gruff voice, his mispronunciations of players' names, and his wide-rimmed glasses. And then, of course, there was his trademark 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' during the seventh-inning stretch.

Harry may be gone, but he is far from forgotten. During the 1998 season, after his death, the Cubs wore a patch on the sleeves of their uniforms portraying a drawing of Caray. The Cubs continue to sing his song during the seventh inning, inviting guest celebrities to lead the crowd.

'Hello again, everybody. It's a beautiful day for baseball.'

Photo credit: dave bug, Adam Keys

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POSTED IN: Sports and Recreation

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