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  #16  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:44 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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He was an excellent baseball announcer, your perception and snl was based on his cub years. I remembered you have something personal against Caray so I am not baffled anymore.
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2014, 07:32 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Harry Caray in his prime (and that includes his days with the White Sox) was a first rate, top baseball announcer. And I speak from personal experience having done play by play for a number of years.

He KNEW baseball, knew the small things that make the difference between winning or losing a game, could clearly bring those details out and he had the "common touch" that enabled him to connect with fans who were just as passionate about the team as he was.

During the late 1970's the ONLY reason to pay any attention to the Sox was because of Harry and Jimmy. In an era of political correctness run amok (which began in the 70's) those guys weren't afraid to call things as they saw them and to hold people responsible and accountable. Players, managers and especially owners.

Over and above that however, to say Harry was simply a drunk who called baseball games is demeaning to the profession itself. A drunk doesn't last in the big leagues for over 40 years without having some idea of the game, his responsibilities and what the profession entails.

As a professional announcer I find that comment insulting personally.

Lip
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2014, 08:31 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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I can understand if someone didnt like Harry or that his announcing style wasnt their cup of tea. But to say that the consensus around the country is that he was a drunk that called baseball games is utterly ridiculous. When your evidence of this is snl, thats even more ridiculous, do you understand what a parody is? I did a quick search and Harry is listed as one of the 10 best baseball announcers on every list I found. Ill now wait for you to show me some evidence from a reliable source that Harry was just a drunk that called baseball games for over 40 years.
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2014, 09:16 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Noneck View Post
I can understand if someone didnt like Harry or that his announcing style wasnt their cup of tea. But to say that the consensus around the country is that he was a drunk that called baseball games is utterly ridiculous. When your evidence of this is snl, thats even more ridiculous, do you understand what a parody is? I did a quick search and Harry is listed as one of the 10 best baseball announcers on every list I found. Ill now wait for you to show me some evidence from a reliable source that Harry was just a drunk that called baseball games for over 40 years.
A parody has to resonate with a thread of truth to work as successful comedy. And the parody of Harry Caray from Saturday Night Live resonated with how people around the country saw him after he became a national celebrity as a Cubs announcer. That is the Harry Caray that people will remember. Parodies of Vin Scully and Jon Miller and Bob Elson I've seen and found amusing don't draw humor from the buffoonery you see in popular parodies of Tim McCarver and Harry Caray.

I liked Harry Caray a lot when I was in high school. Really, though, only White Sox fans who were born before 1970 really remember him as a White Sox announcer. But even if they did, I don't believe the Harry Caray who mercilessly rode players he didn't like and used to talk about hitting Rush Street after the game and frequently plugged whatever beer was sponsoring his broadcast and would say Tony LaRussa only had a job managing because the White Sox were too cheap to hire a real manager would be remembered with anything approaching the respect the baseball world affords Tony LaRussa.

That parody is how most people around the country saw Harry Caray, whether you see any truth in it or not.
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2014, 10:00 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Im not going to go back and forth with you on this. Your proof on Caray it seems is snl which also portrayed Gerald Ford through parody as a stumbling klutz even though he was probably the most athletic President. You may be right though that the majority of people may think of Ford like this and also Caray. This may be because these people dont know political history or baseball history. The thing I do know is that you do know baseball history and for you to agree with these people is absolutely absurd. You can now come back and try to reword what you previously said, which was the following:

"Many White Sox fans from those days still dislike LaRussa and remember Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall fondly, but posterity at large will remember Tony LaRussa as a baseball genius, Harry Caray as a drunk, if not an occasionally racist drunk, and Jimmy Piersall as crazy. And I'm not so sure that isn't a fair analysis."
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  #21  
Old 02-23-2014, 10:04 AM
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Brian26 Brian26 is offline
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Originally Posted by Noneck View Post
I can understand if someone didnt like Harry or that his announcing style wasnt their cup of tea. But to say that the consensus around the country is that he was a drunk that called baseball games is utterly ridiculous. When your evidence of this is snl, thats even more ridiculous, do you understand what a parody is? I did a quick search and Harry is listed as one of the 10 best baseball announcers on every list I found. Ill now wait for you to show me some evidence from a reliable source that Harry was just a drunk that called baseball games for over 40 years.
Noneck & Lip, one thing that should be pointed out... when Harry was with the Sox during what you guys remember as his period of very good work, he was not only generally unheard by the majority of baseball fans around the country, but there was a large segment of the Sox fanbase that didn't hear him regularly. He was buried on UHF for most of the time except for a short run on WGN which may have only been the '81 season IIRC. The Harry Caray that the country was exposed to and remembers was the post 1984 Harry, up until the end of '97. He had the stroke in '86 or '87 and was not as sharp at all after that. That's a good 10-12 year period where he just wasn't very good at all, and that was all broadcast on national cable. The perception of Harry from people outside of Chicago, and I saw this first hand in college, was that he was an idiot. Now, he may have been a great announcer in the 70s. From what I recall on Channel 44 and the videos I have seen recently, I didn't appreciate him as much as you guys did. Unfortunately perception is 9/10 reality though.
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  #22  
Old 02-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Brian, Harry was the voice of baseball in the south and west prior to the western expansion. Remember St. Louis was the furthest team west prior to expansion. The St Louis radio signal was beamed throughout the south and the only one west of the Mississippi. Believe me every baseball fan in the south and west knew who Harry was and realized he was a great announcer. But you may be correct in the perception that people currently living have of him. My beef isnt the perception people have of him , it is that Tdog agrees which it. I have been reading posts from Tdog for years and he knows baseball history as well as anyone here. Ill stand by my statement that it is utterly absurd that he agrees with the current populations perception.
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  #23  
Old 02-23-2014, 11:04 AM
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Noneck & Lip, one thing that should be pointed out... when Harry was with the Sox during what you guys remember as his period of very good work, he was not only generally unheard by the majority of baseball fans around the country, but there was a large segment of the Sox fanbase that didn't hear him regularly. He was buried on UHF for most of the time except for a short run on WGN which may have only been the '81 season IIRC. The Harry Caray that the country was exposed to and remembers was the post 1984 Harry, up until the end of '97. He had the stroke in '86 or '87 and was not as sharp at all after that. That's a good 10-12 year period where he just wasn't very good at all, and that was all broadcast on national cable. The perception of Harry from people outside of Chicago, and I saw this first hand in college, was that he was an idiot. Now, he may have been a great announcer in the 70s. From what I recall on Channel 44 and the videos I have seen recently, I didn't appreciate him as much as you guys did. Unfortunately perception is 9/10 reality though.
Exactly. My argument concerns how he is perceived nationally compared to how Tony LaRussa is perceived. In baseball matters LaRussa, who Caray said shouldn't be a major league manager, has more credibility.

Of course, even without Caray's poor reputation that resonated with America as a whole, someone who talks about baseball, even if he is honored in the Hall of Fame for doing so, doesn't have the baseball credibility of a Hall of Fame manager. I have more respect for baseball things that Tony LaRussa has said than I do for baseball things Harry Caray said. In baseball matters in NoCal, I respect Bruce Bochy's views over Jon Miller's, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jon Miller deferred, although Jon Miller is the one in the Hall of Fame.

I enjoyed listening to Harry Caray when I was in high school, but if I had a choice between following the Sox with him doing the games and having Carlos May on the team (at the beginning) on the team or (at the end) Tony LaRussa managing, I will go with the latter.
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2014, 11:52 AM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Two examples of how popular Harry was even before he came to the White Sox.

This should put to rest any ideas that he was "simply a drunk who called baseball games..."

1. Elvis asked Harry for his autograph when the two met. Elvis invited Harry to Graceland for dinner calling him in his hotel room in Memphis after Harry called an ABA basketball game. They ate ribs by the way. Harry didn't believe it was Elvis at first and challenged him by saying, 'if you are who you say you are, meet me downstairs outside the hotel in 10 minutes.' Elvis showed up in his gold plated Cadillac.

2. In the 60's Harry was actually held up at gunpoint in St. Louis. When the potential robber actually saw who he was violating, he apologized, gave Harry back his money and the two talked baseball for a few moments before the guy ran off.

"Drunks who happen to call baseball games" don't have those things happen to them.

Brian's point about perception is a good one, a younger generation unless they actually listen to games he called with the Cards or White Sox don't understand. But those tapes are out there and are available. Take some time to listen to them.

I don't blame Harry for what happened to him after his stroke, he had no business being on the air period. He had no real idea even what ballpark he was in. That's completely on the Tribune Company who used him to keep the money machine rolling but like Steve Stone said, "what else was Harry going to do?"

Just my opinion but if perception is slanted one way than the burden is on those who are being told differently to take the time, research and find out what the other side is talking about and why. Especially if that involves things like earlier career broadcasts since everyone knows about the later seasons.

You won't be disappointed in what you hear.

Lip
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  #25  
Old 02-23-2014, 12:27 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Harry Caray in his prime (and that includes his days with the White Sox) was a first rate, top baseball announcer. And I speak from personal experience having done play by play for a number of years.

He KNEW baseball, knew the small things that make the difference between winning or losing a game, could clearly bring those details out and he had the "common touch" that enabled him to connect with fans who were just as passionate about the team as he was.

During the late 1970's the ONLY reason to pay any attention to the Sox was because of Harry and Jimmy. In an era of political correctness run amok (which began in the 70's) those guys weren't afraid to call things as they saw them and to hold people responsible and accountable. Players, managers and especially owners.

Over and above that however, to say Harry was simply a drunk who called baseball games is demeaning to the profession itself. A drunk doesn't last in the big leagues for over 40 years without having some idea of the game, his responsibilities and what the profession entails.

As a professional announcer I find that comment insulting personally.

Lip
Excellent observation. I was a big Caray fan but also thought Tony was a very good manager. I have mentioned before that I was a good friend of Jimmys during those days and had many arguements with him over Tony. The big mistake that Tony made was going down to the studio with Leyland and confronting Jimmy, simply bush league.
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  #26  
Old 02-23-2014, 04:48 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Two examples of how popular Harry was even before he came to the White Sox.

This should put to rest any ideas that he was "simply a drunk who called baseball games..."

1. Elvis asked Harry for his autograph when the two met. Elvis invited Harry to Graceland for dinner calling him in his hotel room in Memphis after Harry called an ABA basketball game. They ate ribs by the way. Harry didn't believe it was Elvis at first and challenged him by saying, 'if you are who you say you are, meet me downstairs outside the hotel in 10 minutes.' Elvis showed up in his gold plated Cadillac.

2. In the 60's Harry was actually held up at gunpoint in St. Louis. When the potential robber actually saw who he was violating, he apologized, gave Harry back his money and the two talked baseball for a few moments before the guy ran off.

"Drunks who happen to call baseball games" don't have those things happen to them.

Brian's point about perception is a good one, a younger generation unless they actually listen to games he called with the Cards or White Sox don't understand. But those tapes are out there and are available. Take some time to listen to them.

I don't blame Harry for what happened to him after his stroke, he had no business being on the air period. He had no real idea even what ballpark he was in. That's completely on the Tribune Company who used him to keep the money machine rolling but like Steve Stone said, "what else was Harry going to do?"

Just my opinion but if perception is slanted one way than the burden is on those who are being told differently to take the time, research and find out what the other side is talking about and why. Especially if that involves things like earlier career broadcasts since everyone knows about the later seasons.

You won't be disappointed in what you hear.

Lip
None of this has anything to do with my position that posterity will consider Harry Caray a drunk who called baseball games. He is pretty much to blame for this lasting impression, which I find to be current consensus around the country if not Chicago and regardless of my own opinion, which I really haven't discussed. I never said he wasn't popular with White Sox fans, although I got the impression that most hated him when he was announcing Cubs games.

If you are suggesting his popularity with fans and his talent for doing play-by-play (which was leaving him by the time he became well known on a national stage so it isn't what history will remember him for) makes him an authority over Tony LaRussa in matters of baseball, I think you are mistaken.
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  #27  
Old 02-23-2014, 04:56 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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He is pretty much to blame for this lasting impression, which I find to be current consensus around the country if not Chicago and regardless of my own opinion, which I really haven't discussed.

Your opinion discussed no, stated yes. Here it is again if you may have forgotten.

"Many White Sox fans from those days still dislike LaRussa and remember Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall fondly, but posterity at large will remember Tony LaRussa as a baseball genius, Harry Caray as a drunk, if not an occasionally racist drunk, and Jimmy Piersall as crazy. And I'm not so sure that isn't a fair analysis."
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  #28  
Old 02-23-2014, 06:04 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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TDog says:

"If you are suggesting his popularity with fans and his talent for doing play-by-play (which was leaving him by the time he became well known on a national stage so it isn't what history will remember him for) makes him an authority over Tony LaRussa in matters of baseball, I think you are mistaken."

I'm not comparing or saying anything in relation to Caray and / or LaRussa.

I AM saying that your contention that Caray was a "drunk who called baseball games" is an insult to me as a professional and a grave disservice to Caray.

NO ONE works in the business for over 40 years (many of them excellently worked) if they are a drunk and can't do the job. Take it from me, I know.

Regarding how history will view Caray, as Noneck states that's your opinion. You don't speak for history.

There are plenty of baseball historians who know better and opin as such.

Like your comments regarding LaRussa being 'better' or 'more valuable' (whatever terms you wish to use) than Caray because he played at a high level and managed in the major leagues (which has some merit), I'll take the opinions of the Hall of Fame and actual baseball historians over yours.

Nothing personal but you aren't an expert in these matters and I suspect have never even been in a broadcasting booth.

Lip
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