Skip Caray

Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray Jr. (August 12, 1939 – August 3, 2008) was an American sportscaster, best known for his long career as a radio and television play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. He was the son of baseball announcer Harry Caray, and the father of fellow Braves broadcaster Chip Caray; another son, Josh Caray, is a reporter for All News 106.7.

Skip Caray
SkipCaray
Born
Harry Christopher Caray Jr.

August 12, 1939
DiedAugust 3, 2008 (aged 68)
OccupationSportscaster
Years active1967–2008
Spouse(s)
Paula Caray
(m. 1976; his death 2008)
ChildrenChip, Cindy, Shayelyn and Josh Caray
Parent(s)Harry Caray

Early life and education

Skip Caray grew up in baseball as the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, who would routinely refer to his son at 8:30 p.m. during every broadcast by saying, "Good night, Skippy", a phrase for which he was teased throughout his adolescence.[1]

He studied television and radio at the University of Missouri where he received a degree in journalism and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta.[2] He began his career in St. Louis calling Saint Louis University and St. Louis Hawks basketball. In 1968, Caray moved with the Hawks to Atlanta, where he also called Atlanta Flames hockey games and did morning sportscasts on WSB-AM.

Career

Atlanta Braves

Skip Caray and Pete van Wieren 1983
Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren acknowledging fans at a game in 1983.

In 1976, he was added to the broadcast team for the Braves, a position he held until his death.[3] In September 2007, Caray was not asked to announce League Division Series games on TBS and was kept exclusive to the Braves as the team's broadcasts moved to local Atlanta network Peachtree TV (a direct descendant of the original WTBS). Caray felt slighted by the move.[4]

Caray was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 alongside long time Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren.[5] He has been recognized with six Georgia Sportscaster-of-the Year awards from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, as well as a Georgia-area Emmy award.[6]

On December 18, 2006, the Braves organization announced that Caray (and partner Van Wieren) had signed three-year contracts to continue doing Braves game broadcasts on their radio network. However, Caray only announced ten games on TBS in the 2007 season before being relegated to Peachtree TV.[7]

On the final broadcast of Braves TBS Baseball (September 30, 2007), Caray thanked fans saying, "To all you people who have watched the Braves for these 30 years ... thank you. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. ... Thank you folks and God bless you. And we're going to miss you every bit as much as you miss us."

NBC Sports

In 2000, NBC hired Caray to do play-by-play with Joe Morgan on the AL Division Series between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics. Caray was filling in for Bob Costas, who sat out the Division Series after anchoring NBC's prime time coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Sydney, Australia.

Other appearances

On December 11, 1982, Caray along with Abe Lemons called the much hyped college basketball contest between Virginia and Georgetown[8][9] (led by Ralph Sampson and Patrick Ewing[10] respectively) for TBS. Caray also called play-by-play for the first two seasons (1990–91) of the TNT network's Sunday night NFL coverage as well as TBS' coverage of the NBA and college football, and anchored TBS' coverage of the 1990 Goodwill Games. He made his motion picture debut in the 1985 movie The Slugger's Wife, starring Michael O'Keefe, Randy Quaid and Rebecca De Mornay. Caray frequently mocked his participation in the film on-air, and referred to it as one of the worst movies ever made, often saying that the actors in the movie probably watched it as the in-flight movie on their way back to Los Angeles. Caray was also the lead play-by-play man for The Baseball Network's (a joint venture of ABC and NBC Sports respectively) regional coverage of Braves games during that ill-fated experiment's two seasons (1994 and 1995) usually alongside the opposing team's secondary play-by-play man or color commentator.

Broadcasting style

Caray's broadcasts were characterized by his witty and sarcastic sense of humor, a personality trait that endeared him to most fans, but alienated him from some.[11] For example, during a particularly long losing streak in the 1980s, Caray declared at the start of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, "And, like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves take the field".[12] Other frequent targets of Caray's jokes included the Montreal Expos' mascot Youppi,[13] New York Mets fans, professional wrestling, The Wave, TBS baseball broadcast producer Glenn Diamond, and the post game B-movie frequently shown on TBS during the 1980s.[14] In one instance, in order to get back at Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Ron Hudspeth for a critical column, Caray paid to have an airplane tow a banner above Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium during a Braves game which read, "For a good time, call Rona Hudspeth", and included Ron's actual phone number.[15]

Among other memorable lines, Caray said of Braves pitcher Charlie Kerfeld, who was 6'4" and 245 lbs., "Boy, he is big enough to go to work." And during a losing streak, after talking about a promotion in which Braves fans could come on the field and meet the players, Caray commented, "The way things are going, we may make the fans go through a metal detector on the way to the field."

Caray was also known for his tendency to identify the hometowns of fans who catch foul balls during Braves games in jest. Fans who reside in the metro Atlanta area were identified by a random suburb, though there was no legitimacy behind these references. Similarly, when daytime home games went long, Caray would routinely give a "traffic report" at exactly 5 o'clock on radio broadcasts. It consisted of him rattling off a random list of major Atlanta arteries, and describing each one as hopelessly backed up. When the Braves suffered a severely bad outing, and the score was strongly lopsided in favor of the other team, in late innings he would often tell fans "It's OK to walk the dog now, folks, if you promise to support our sponsors."[16]

In addition to his play-by-play duties, Caray also hosted a pre-game call in show, until 2004, during which he was notorious for insulting on-air fans with curt and sarcastic responses, particularly when asked baseball questions of the simplest order, such as "how do you calculate ERA?" or "could you please explain the infield fly rule?"[17]

Caray's rather distinctive nasal voice had been parodied by former SportsCenter anchor Rich Eisen during highlights for Atlanta Braves games.

Criticism

In June 2000, Caray, along with fellow Braves broadcasters Joe Simpson, Pete Van Wieren and Don Sutton, was banned from Atlanta Braves team charter flights for several games after criticizing Braves catcher Javy López for being penalized for setting up outside the catchers box during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.[18]

In an attempt to combat criticism of Caray's on-air "home team" bias and to market its baseball coverage to non-Braves fans, during the 2003 season, TBS removed him and Pete Van Wieren from announcing Braves games on television. The move was strongly criticized by Braves fans, the local Atlanta media, and Braves manager Bobby Cox.[19] Over 90% of Braves fans who voted in an online poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution preferred Caray and Van Wieren to the more neutral broadcasts.[20] The move backfired, and ratings for the TBS broadcasts declined sharply. After the All-Star Break, Caray and Van Wieren were returned to the booth, only to be taken off permanently in 2007 with TBS hiring new broadcasters for their playoff coverage later in the year.

Death

On August 3, 2008, the Atlanta Braves announced that Caray had died, nine days before what would have been his 69th birthday. His wife, Paula, reported to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that on Sunday afternoon when she thought her husband was napping, she looked out the window and saw a bird feeder not hanging where it should be and thought it had been blown down by the wind. When she stood up, she noticed her husband lying on the ground next to the bird feeder.[21] He had been suffering from failing health for nearly a year prior, but returned to work for the 2008 season, calling a game on radio as recently as three days before his death.[22] Tributes to Caray were given on all of the Atlanta television stations that evening and on WGST-AM the next morning.[23][24][25][26][27]

Shortly after Caray's death, the Atlanta Braves began wearing a memorial patch on their uniforms that read "SKIP", which appeared on the sleeve opposite the "BEACH" patch honoring Jim Beauchamp that they had been wearing since the beginning of the 2008 season.

References

  1. ^ "Longtime voice of the Atlanta Braves". Los Angeles Times. August 5, 2008.
  2. ^ "Famous Fijis". Phi Gamma Delta. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  3. ^ tbs.com Archived 2006-04-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Skip Caray Feels Snubbed by TBS
  5. ^ atlanta.braves.mlb.com
  6. ^ abradionetwork Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ ajc.com Archived 2006-12-27 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Rothenberg, Fred (22 July 1982). "Superstation Wtbs Fights Network Methods, Programs". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  9. ^ Richard, Chris (22 July 1982). "Awesome Basketball Game Spotlights Sampson-Ewing Confrontation". The Cavalier Daily. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
  10. ^ Meade, Peter (8 December 1982). "The Biggest Showdown?". The Times-News. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  11. ^ positivelyatlantaga.com/1999/10/18 #1
  12. ^ rateitall Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Why I Hate Those Braves Archived 2005-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/bradley/entries/2008/08/10/truth_be_told_van_wieren_wont.html
  15. ^ thehudespethreport.com
  16. ^ Of Mikes and Men, Pete Van Wieren
  17. ^ positivelyatlantaga.com/1999/10/18 #2
  18. ^ wndu.com Archived 2001-05-12 at Archive.today
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 13, 2003. Retrieved 2003-04-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 5, 2007. Retrieved 2017-05-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ Caray's Wife Says He Collapsed While Feeding Birds Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 5, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2008.
  22. ^ http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/08/03/skip_caray_dies.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab
  23. ^ myfoxatlanta.com (WAGA-TV) announcement of Skip Caray's death. – accessed August 4, 2008.
  24. ^ cbs46.com (WGCL-TV) announcement of Caray's death. Archived 2008-09-16 at the Wayback Machine – accessed August 4, 2008.
  25. ^ WGST 640 AM tribute to Caray. – accessed August 4, 2008.
  26. ^ wsbtv.com (WSB-TV) announcement of Caray's death. Archived 2008-08-22 at the Wayback Machine – accessed August 4, 2008.
  27. ^ 11alive.com (WXIA-TV) announcement of Caray's death. – accessed August 4, 2008.

External links

1988 NBA All-Star Game

The 38th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 7, 1988, at Chicago Stadium in Chicago. The East won the game 138-133 and Michael Jordan (who scored a game-high 40 points) was named the game's MVP.

1990 Atlanta Braves season

The 1990 Atlanta Braves season was the team's 25th season in Atlanta, the 115th in franchise history as a member of the National League and the 120th season overall. The Braves went 65–97, en route to their sixth-place finish in the NL West, 26 games behind the World Champion Cincinnati Reds, and ending up with the worst record that year. On June 23, Bobby Cox replaced Russ Nixon as the team's manager, a job Cox would hold for the next two decades.

1994 Atlanta Braves season

The 1994 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 124th in existence and their 29th in Atlanta. After trading the two-sport athlete Deion Sanders, experts predicted that the Atlanta Braves were going to have their worst season since 1935. The Braves' records reflect just how successful that year was, although it was curtailed due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. The Braves played a total of 114 games; they won 68 and lost 46. The Braves finished their 1994 season with a winning percentage .596, ranking the Braves 2nd overall in the MLB, although they were six games behind the Montreal Expos in the NL East.

1997 Atlanta Braves season

The 1997 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 32nd season in Atlanta and 127th overall. The Braves won their sixth consecutive division title, taking the National League East title by 9 games over the second place Florida Marlins. However, the Marlins would later defeat the Braves in the 1997 National League Championship Series. 1997 was the first year that the Braves played their home games in Turner Field, which originally served as a venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

2000 Atlanta Braves season

The 2000 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 35th season in Atlanta along with the 125th season in the National League and 130th overall. The Braves won their ninth consecutive division title, however, the 2000 season would mark the first time since 1990 that the Braves did not appear in the National League Championship Series. One of the highlights of the season was that the All-Star Game was held at Turner Field in Atlanta.

2004 Atlanta Braves season

The 2004 Atlanta Braves season marked the franchise's 39th season in Atlanta and 134th overall. The Braves won their 13th consecutive division title under Manager of the Year Bobby Cox, finishing 10 games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves lost the 2004 Divisional Series to the Houston Astros, 3 games to 2.

J. D. Drew replaced Gary Sheffield (lost to the Yankees in free agency) in the outfield, free agent John Thomson joined the rotation, and rookies Adam LaRoche and Charles Thomas saw significant playing time on a younger 2004 Braves team.

2006 Atlanta Braves season

The 2006 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 136th for the franchise and 41st in Atlanta. During the season, the Braves attempted to win the NL East.

Finishing with a 79–83 record, not only did the Braves miss the playoffs for the first time since 1990 (not counting the strike-affected 1994 season), but also their first losing season and worst record since that year. In failing to reach the postseason, Atlanta ended their streak of consecutive NL East titles.

2008 Atlanta Braves season

The 2008 Atlanta Braves season was the 43rd in Atlanta and the 138th overall. The Braves attempted to reclaim a postseason berth for the first time since 2005. They were once again skippered by Bobby Cox, now in his 19th season (of his second stint) managing Atlanta. As a result of John Schuerholz taking the position of team president, the Braves entered the offseason with Frank Wren as their general manager.

The team wore a patch on the right sleeve "BEACH" in honor of former Braves player and bench coach Jim Beauchamp, who had died after the previous season ended. 2008 saw the departure of two of the team's longtime radio and television announcers. Skip Caray died on August 3, while Pete van Wieren announced his retirement on October 21. Both men had been broadcasting for the team since 1976.

Atlanta Braves Radio Network

The Atlanta Braves Radio Network is a 138-station network (97 A.M., 41 F.M. stations + 1 F.M. translator) heard across 10 states and one territory of the Southeastern United States that airs Major League Baseball games of the Atlanta Braves. The flagship stations are WCNN and WNNX in Atlanta, Georgia. The main announcers are Jim Powell and Joe Simpson, who alternate between play-by-play and color commentary on each broadcast. Ben Ingram serves as the pregame host and frequently fills in on commentary, along with longtime commentator Don Sutton. Grant McAuley is the postgame host, while Kevin McAlpin serves as a dugout reporter. Mark Lemke provides pregame/postgame analysis and occasionally fills in for Sutton on game broadcasts. Former known long-time announcers include Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson, Sr. and Skip Caray, all deceased. The engineer and game producer for Braves Network broadcasts is Jonathan Chadwick. Network Producers include Kevin D'Amico, Chris Culwell, Sean Nerny, Brandon Joseph, John Radcliffe, Cameron Carruth and Isiah Stewart.Due to the large geographic span of the Braves' territory, their radio network has the most affiliates of any team in Major League Baseball. The nearest teams to the north of Atlanta are the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. The nearest teams to the west are the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, while the nearest teams to the south are the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.

Braves TBS Baseball

Braves TBS Baseball (or Braves Baseball on TBS) was a presentation of regular season Major League Baseball game telecasts featuring the Atlanta Braves National League franchise that aired on the American cable and satellite network TBS. The games were produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, TBS's corporate parent. The program, which made its debut in 1973, ended national broadcasts in 2007.

TBS phased out its national coverage of Braves baseball after it was awarded an MLB-wide national broadcast contract effective in 2008. WPCH-TV, the rebranded former originating signal of the TBS superstation feed, retained Atlanta-market rights to a partial schedule of Braves games through 2013, but primary rights moved to cable regional sports networks, eventually settling with Fox Sports South. TBS may select Braves games for national broadcast on equal grounds with other MLB clubs, but their national broadcast would be blacked out in the Braves' MLB-designated territory if the regional rights-holder carries the game as well.

Chip Caray

Harry Christopher "Chip" Caray III (born February 27, 1965) is a television broadcaster for Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast's coverage of the Atlanta Braves baseball and Southeastern Conference basketball, and is an occasional radio broadcaster and co-host of the pre-game and post-game shows on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Chip is also known from his time as a broadcaster for the Fox Saturday Game of the Week and as the television play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs from 1998 to 2004. He is the son of broadcaster Skip Caray, the grandson of broadcaster Harry Caray and the older half-brother of broadcaster Josh Caray.

Darrel Chaney

Darrel Lee Chaney (born March 9, 1948, in Hammond, Indiana) is an American former player/announcer in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves from 1969 to 1979. In the early 1980s he worked for the Braves as an announcer along with Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren. He was on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network as well as WTBS-TV.

Chaney was a graduate of Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana, where he was a three-sport athlete and an All-American football player and was named the Northwest Indiana Times Athlete of the Year in 1966. His wife Cindy is also from Hammond and is a graduate of George Rogers Clark High School.He had several football scholarship offers from Big Ten schools but signed with Ball State University because there he could play both football and baseball. However, he was selected by the Reds in the second round of the 1966 draft and signed for a $6,000 bonus.Although a light-hitting infielder in the minor leagues, he broke through and led the Southern League with 23 home runs in 1968, earning him a spot on the Reds' roster in 1969, when he shared the shortstop position with Woody Woodward and Chico Ruiz. Chaney continued with the Reds in the 1970s but after the emergence of Dave Concepción was primarily a reserve.

He played in three World Series for the Reds' "Big Red Machine" teams, in 1970 and 1972 and on the World Series-winning team of 1975.Chaney was traded to Atlanta after the 1975 season and in 1976 batted .252 with one home run and 50 RBI as the Braves' regular shortstop. Over the next three seasons, however, he was unable to hold the job against competition from two other players, and was released at the end of the 1979 season.

In 915 career games, Chaney hit for a .217 batting average, with 14 home runs, 190 runs batted in, 237 runs scored, 458 hits, 75 doubles, 17 triples and 19 stolen bases.

Chaney is a past Chairman of the Board of the Major League Alumni Marketing (MLAM) and a Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at a retail services organization. He is a Christian and a motivational speaker; Dan Hettinger has written a biography of Chaney entitled Welcome to the Big Leagues . . . Every Man's Journey to Significance. He lives in Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia with his wife Cindy.

Harry Caray (disambiguation)

Harry Caray may refer to:

Harry Caray (1914–1998), American sportscaster

Skip Caray (1939–2008), his son, born Harry Caray, Jr. and also a sportscaster

NBA on Mutual

The NBA on Mutual is the de facto name for National Basketball Association radio broadcasts on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Mutual was the official national radio broadcaster of NBA games (including the All-Star Game and NBA Finals) from the 1968-69 through 1983-84 seasons. Mutual had previously broadcast NBA games as far back as 1954-55. Mutual was ultimately supplanted by the ABC Radio Network.

NBA on TBS

The NBA on TBS is a presentation of NBA regular season and playoff game telecasts that aired on the American cable and satellite network TBS. The games are produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Warner Media, TBS's corporate parent.

The network obtained rights to air NBA games beginning with the 1984-1985 season (replacing the ESPN and USA Network as the National Basketball Association's national cable partners) in which TBS shared the NBA television package along with CBS.

Pete Van Wieren

Pete Van Wieren (October 7, 1944 – August 2, 2014), a native of Rochester, New York, was an American sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.

WLAQ

WLAQ (1410 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. Licensed to Rome, Georgia, United States, the station serves the Rome area. The station is currently owned by Cripple Creek Broadcasting Company and features programming from CBS Radio.WLAQ currently provides a locally produced morning news/talk/sports program hosted by News Director Elizabeth Davis, as well as a great deal of local varsity sports coverage. WLAQ and its sister station WATG 95.7 FM The Ridge are flagship stations for coverage of the Rome Braves, Class A affiliate of the major league Atlanta Braves. Son of legendary Braves voice Skip Caray, Josh Caray, provided the play-by-play for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, now handled by Rome native Ben Poplin. Other sports coverage is provided by station principals Randy Davis, Matt Davis, and numerous other local sports watchers.

WLAQ's daily syndicated programming includes the Glenn Beck Program, Rush Limbaugh, Dave Ramsey, and continuous coverage through the night from ESPN Radio. The station also carries NASCAR coverage from the MRN Radio Network and Georgia Tech basketball and football.

Glenn Beck premiered on WLAQ in the 9 AM to noon time slot in September 2008, after decades of that time slot being filled by regionally syndicated talk-radio mainstay Ludlow Porch.

Youppi!

Youppi! (French pronunciation: ​[jupi], French for Yippee!) is the official mascot for the Montreal Canadiens, and former longtime mascot of Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals). Youppi! wears an exclamation mark as his jersey number.

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