Monday, August 4, 2008

In Memoriam

Far too many times we witness greatness and never really realize what we have seen until it is gone. Skip Caray passed away yesterday at his home in Atlanta.

What an icon.

Take it from someone who grew up in the 80's and 90's, the Braves were really all we had. Obviously in the 80's they sucked. But as a young boy, I still watched the games. Because that is what young American boys do isn't it? It was then that I decided what I wanted to do for a living. I didn't want to be a baseball player, I wanted to be an announcer. Specifically, I wanted to be Skip Caray. The Braves were bad, but the announcers were the best. Skip, Pete, Ernie, Don, Joe. You would watch the games just to hear the perfection of their announcing. Even when the game was a blow out, you wanted to hear what they said next.

The suits at TBS didn't realize this at times. They took Skip and Pete off the air a few years ago and forced them to radio. Skip and Pete you see, were too identifiable with the Braves. And TBS was moving towards a more national audience. Halfway through the season, bombarded by fan complaints and letters, TBS allowed Skip and Pete back on the TV airwaves. Yes, that's right folks, Skip and Pete were baseball's version of Ron McLean and Don Cherry. Right here in our hometown.

I kept my baseball announcing dream kind of in the back of my mind all the way until my first year of college. A funny thing happened along the way, I found this sport called hockey. All of a sudden, my dream of announcing baseball games faded; like all good childhood dreams do I suppose. In my mind we are blessed to have another icon announcing for the Thrashers. Dan Kamal. He and Odgers call a wonderful game. As does Darren Eliot. Perhaps one of these days Eliot will be given a partner to work with.

I'm sure you all have your own Skip Caray memory that stands out. A great call perhaps? For me, it is the blow outs that I will always remember. Skip and his partner, keeping the game interesting for all the fans and making a few jokes along the way. Baseball has lost me as a fan due to steroids among other things. Now it has lost one of the only reasons I tuned in at all anymore. Just last week I watched half of a game because I was missing my friend Skip.

Boy, I'm glad I did.

For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.


Razor Catch Prey said...

The world won't be the same place without Skip's voice in it. I have paid so little attention to anything having to do with professional baseball in the past several years that I didn't even know he was sick. Even hearing his voice in passing, though, has always brought a familiar and warm feeling and a hint of what I used to love about the game.

Excellent tribute, Shooter. Hard to believe both Skip and Harry are gone.

Now we really have to make that trip to Wrigley on January 1st and raise many a toast to the two greatest baseball broadcasters ever to grace the airwaves.

Big Shooter said...

Indeed. Skip was a symbol of everything that baseball used to be. Back when people like us loved the game.

Big Shooter said...


Just read where Odgers is moving back to Canada and will no longer call Thrasher games.

Tough day...

Razor Catch Prey said...

That is the second saddest news of the day.

Maybe it'll set up the possibility of finally firing Delacamera and putting Kamal and Eliot on both TV and radio.