Our Hats off to You, Skip

 

Atlanta Braves play-by-play announcer Skip Caray passed away on Sunday at the age of 68.  Caray had had some major health issues within the last year, and said that he almost passed away last October 2007.  Caray is survived by his wife and four children, one of which has been a play-by-play announcer for the Braves, Chip Caray.

Not everyone enjoyed Skip Caray, but I thought he was great.  Skip’s one of a kind dry sarcasm set him apart from other play-by-play announcers.  Once during a game in which Greg Maddux was pitching, the mic caught a rather loud swear word, and Skip said “Maddux evidently not happy about that pitch”.  During the terrible 1980’s where the Braves were a losing team, Caray had this to say when the Braves took the field: “And, like lambs to the slaughter, the Braves take the field”.  He also had fun with former Braves pitcher Jung Bong and his name.  Everytime an opposing hitter got a hit off of him, Caray said: “that’s another hit off Bong”.  Former Sportscenter anchor Rich Eisen was well known for imitating Skip Caray during Braves highlights.

Skip Caray grew up in the shadows of his father Harry Caray.  He started his broadcasting career calling the Saint Louis University and St. Louis Hawks basketball games.  Back when the hockey team was the Atlanta Flames, Caray also called their games.  Caray has been in Atlanta for 32 years calling games for the Braves.  He called the exciting 1992 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Sid Bream slid into home for the winning run.  He also called the 1995 World Series, the only World Series won by Atlanta.

Our hats off to you, Skip, you were great!

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4 Responses to “Our Hats off to You, Skip”

  1. This makes me sad and nostalgic…I used to follow the Braves in the mid 90s and Skip was fantastic. I don’t remember the four announcers names, but Skip was one (Skip, Joe, Don, and ?). You guys may think this is stupid (but remember – I am, after all, a girl), but the announcers were the reason I chose to follow the Braves in the first place. I was in college and making my transition over from pro football (my family is a football family) which I had followed all throughout high school. Tired of the game of musical teams that seemed to be the norm in football, I decided to try baseball since I played softball and my coach was a Philly fan; and at the time they were a lot of fun to watch – John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra..the whole dirty bunch of ’em. But the only time I could watch them was when they played other NL teams, and the announcers for the Braves were the ones who introduced me not only to the Braves team as a whole, but to the guys in the uniforms. They truly made it a blast to watch, and I fell in love with the game itself along the way. (My other option was WGN Chicago, so it was a toss up between Atlanta and Chicago, and I chose Atlanta because of the announcers). I don’t remember which of the guys shared the comment, but one of my favorites was when there had been hail one day at the field, and everyone ran out afterwards to inspect their cars…I think it was Keith Lockhart who said something like, “good thing I didn’t bring the Bentley”, and the announcers were pretty tickled by that. I guess it was just the way he had said it that made it so funny, but I’ll never forget it.

    Thanks for giving a salute to Skip. I know he’ll be missed.

  2. Nice post, fellas. I lament the loss of another part of my childhood. *sigh*

    I miss the days of Skip, Pete and EJ (Senior) calling the games during the ’80s.

  3. Quotes from Skip, without dates and imperfectly remembered:

    On the statue of Stan Musial in front of Busch Stadium: “Man, that thing’s so ugly, even the pigeons ignore it….I hear Stan’s a bit of a magician – maybe he tried to make it disappear.”

    “[Player name] steps up to the plate, now that the music has died down and he can hear himself think.”

    During a long extra-innings game, in response to the pitcher making a throw to first to hold the runner: “Oh, now, that’s all we need.”

  4. I miss Skip so much. Its good to see a place to remember him and more people who miss him too. Its still hard to believe you can’t just turn on TBS at 7:05 anymore and listen to him. I would never change channels until he said so long everybody. The world is not the same without him.

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