If you’re from Chicago and/or a Cubs fans, you’ve heard the name Harry Caray. This charismatic sportscaster was known for his thick-rimmed glassed and his usage of ‘Holy Cow’ when describing impressive plays. Even after his death, Caray remained a popular figure in the sports world. However, I wonder how many people knew this electrifying personality was Italian-American.
Born Harry Christopher Carabina in St. Louis, this now-famous sports figure had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. Unfortunately, this dream didn’t pan out, but Caray turned his attention to sports broadcasting. He believed he could do a better job than the current radio personalities who couldn’t quite capture the excitement one got from attending a game in person.
He started his career working at WCLS in Joliet, IL, in 1940. It was during this time, at the station manager’s suggestion, Caray officially changed his name from Carabina to Caray. 5 years later, Caray broke into the major leagues when he started broadcasting for the St. Louis Cardinals. He worked there for 25 years before moving to Chicago to work for the White Sox. After 11 years, Caray moved over to the Chicago Cubs. In total, Caray spent 53 years in the business and reported on more than 8,300 baseball games.
Caray’s style was incredibly unique, which is what made him so popular with the fans. He would often make outlandish comments unrelated to the game and would purposely mispronounce players’ names. Caray was also known for his ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ sing along. He was so good at what he did, Caray was entered into the broadcaster’s section of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Caray passed away in 1998, but not before seeing his son and grandson become sports broadcasters as well.
This impressive man will always be an important figure in the sports world and to the long-standing legacy of the Chicago Cubs.
- Harry Caray’s Life [Britannica]
- Harry Caray [SABR]
- Feature Picture [Wikimedia]