Caray, who is credited with being first to sing "Take me out to the Ball Game"
during the 7th inning stretch at a ball game in 1971, once said,
"I would always sing it, because I think it's the only song I knew the words to!"
On Opening Day in 1976 Bill Veeck noticed the fans were singing along with Caray
so a secret microphone was placed in the broadcast booth the following day
to allow ALL the fans to hear him. Veeck explained to Caray,
"Harry, anybody in the ballpark hearing you sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game
knows that he can sing as well as you can.
Probably better than you can. So he or she sings along.
Hell, if you had a good singing voice you'd intimidate them, and nobody would join in!"
WGN announcer Pat
Hughes presents Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans,
an audio / photo tribute to Chicago and St Louis sports broadcaster Harry Caray,
one of the most beloved figures in baseball.
Caray's personality was as much a part of his charm as his broadcasting skill,
and even ten years after his death, baseball fans across the country recall Caray fondly,
both for his play by play calls and his genuinely excited Holy Cow! exclamations during the games.
Pat Hughes has compiled a CD of Carays most famous calls and broadcasts that accompanies the book.
By combining Harrys voice with photos and stories of the Cards and Cubs,
Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans will give readers not only a fond memory of Caray,
but also a where were you when...? moments, such as Ryne Sandberg's double game-tying home runs in 1984.
128 pages with an audio CD - Hardcover $22.95
"Booze, broads and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?"
"I'll tell you what's helped
me my entire life. I look at baseball as a game.
It's something where people can go out, enjoy and have fun. Nothing more."
"I've only been doing this 54 years. With a little experience, I might get better." - on his mispronunciations
"I think it's the greatest
shot in the arm baseball could get. Once upon a time, all kids
wanted to be
baseball players, but nowadays a young kid dreams about playing basketball or football and making millions.
I think it's great to see a man who has reached the pinnacle of his career, and now he wants to go back
and do what he wanted to do as a kid: play baseball." - on Michael Jordan
"My whole philosophy is to
broadcast the way a fan would broadcast."
"Oh, what difference does it make? I figure I had no business being here this long anyway,
so what do you care how old I am? I've been on borrowed time for years. You know my old saying:
live it up, the meter's running. I've always said that if you don't have fun while you're here,
then it's your fault. You only get to do this once." - on his true age, February 14, 1998
"Now, you tell me, if I have
a day off during the baseball season, where do you think I'll spend it?
The ballpark. I still love it; always have, always will." - on his reason not to retire
"I know it is the fans that
are responsible for me being here.
I've always tried in each and every broadcast to serve the fans to the best of my ability."
"Aw, how could he (Jorge Orta) lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."
"Hello again, everybody. It's a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball."
"It could be, it might be, It is! A home run!"
the fans that need spring training. You gotta get 'em interested.
Wake 'em up and let 'em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll."
"Oh, I get a little tired now and then, but knowing my lifestyle, that's only natural."
"They (Expos fans) discovered 'boo' is pronounced the same in French as it is in English."
has been the remarkable thing about the fans in Chicago,
they keep drawing an average of a million-three a year, and,
when the season's over and they've won their usual seventy-one games,
you feel that those fans deserve a medal."
"I was down and despondent,
and I had my doubts whether I'd ever come back,
but you know something? The mail. Boxes and boxes of mail.
That's what pulled me through as much as anything.
Cards and letters and telegrams from complete strangers.
From schools, you know the ones where the kids all draw a picture and sign their names?
I'll tell you something. I've taken some criticism for reading names on the air
-- birthdays, anniversaries, get-well wishes, that sort of thing.
Well, I first realized how much it meant when I was on the receiving end.
You never know when you recite the name of a shut-in between innings or
between pitches how that might affect a person who's not feeling well or who's down
on his luck. I know what it meant to me. Boxes and boxes.
I got boxes and boxes of mail in that hospital.
I could never possibly answer all of that mail."
"I'm in Memphis one winter, early 1960s, to do a basketball game, the St. Louis Hawks, back on TV to St. Louis," Caray recalled. "They played a series of games in Memphis. I'm in my hotel room the afternoon of the game. The phone rings." "Harry," the voice says. "Been listening to you for years. How are the Cardinals gonna be this season?" "I think we're gonna be OK," Caray replies. "We've got a good ball club. Uh, who is this?" "Elvis," the voice says. "Elvis who?" Caray asks. "Elvis Presley," the man answers. "C'mon, don't give me that," Caray roars. "You're not Elvis Presley." "You're a sporting man," the fellow goes on. "If you don't think it's me. be down in front of the hotel in 10 minutes." Ten minutes passed, and a big Cadillac pulled up with Elvis in it. "Well, he took me to his mansion," Caray recalled. "We talked baseball, music, what have you. Then he dropped me off at the arena so I could do the basketball game and picked me up 15 minutes after the game. We went back to his house and wound up eating ribs and drinking Budweiser and shooting the bull until the wee hours. I'll never forget that phone call." -- from The Sporting News, July 2, 1966