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Atlanta Sports Legend Dies
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 04, 2008

I've been a fan of the Atlanta Braves for over 30 years - in the good times and bad. Moving to Atlanta in '78, I was excited to have a professional baseball team to watch and cheer on. Of course in those days, there wasn't much to cheer. But what I did enjoy about as much as the baseball was the broadcast team for the Braves - Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson. Ernie Johnson has since retired and last night Skip Caray died in his sleep - he was 68.

Caray had been battling health problems for a few years and had taken himself off the Brave's road schedule this year, only doing home games.

I think you had to be a Braves fan to really appreciate Skip. He was caustic, sarcastic, and, well, just funny. He took shots at everyone and everything - but they were appropriate. And he always seemed to know exactly where that line was that you didn't cross. Teamed up with the other two, it was just a great trio of broadcasters.

Son of the legendary Cubs and Cardinal's announcer Harry Caray and father of Chip Caray (now doing Braves games) and Josh Caray (doing single A Rome Braves games), Skip made a mark of his own in baseball history.

The AJC has a nice writeup in today's paper about Skip. He was a true character who I enjoyed immensely over the years.

Probably the most hilarious thing I remember about Caray occurred back in the bad old days of the early '80s when the Braves were again mired in last place and it was a late season game which meant nothing and as usual the Braves were losing.

Of course the game was broadcast live and for some reason the camera was panning the rows and rows of empty seats in the outfield of old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Caray was talking about something as suddenly a single fan came into view, a fan who had obviously found the beer vendor on more than one occasion. He also somehow picked up on the fact that a TV camera was trained on him and decided it was a perfect time to shoot the world the bird.

Caray, never missing a beat, and in a calm and almost bored voice said, "and there's another Atlanta fan declaring his team number one in the nation". The camera beat a hasty retreat and I almost coughed up a lung laughing. There was a long pause after that as I'm sure a the other guys on the broadcast team were hitting "cough" buttons to mask their laughter as well.

That was Skip Caray through the years and I'm going to miss him. My sincere condolences to his family.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Slightly unrelated, but Chip is just awful...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I have a special respect for anyone who can do play by play. Having worked with such people, I can honestly say that’s a special talent.
Written By: Bithead
I recall hearing the shooting-the-bird story, almost exactly as you described it, but on a Monday Night Football game from the Astrodome, with the Oilers taking the Braves’ place and either Meredith or Cosell delivering Caray’s line.
Written By: Diffus
URL: http://
Wouldn’t surprise me Diffus - but I sat there and watched and heard it, so I know at least this one happened. Who borrowed from whom, I don’t know.
Written By: McQ

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