SBD/Issue 219/Sports Industrialists

Longtime Braves Broadcaster Skip Caray Dies At Age Of 68

Caray Dies At Age Of 68
Braves announcer SKIP CARAY passed away yesterday in his sleep at his Atlanta home at the age of 68. Caray was in the middle of his 33rd season calling games for the club (Braves). In Atlanta, Tim Tucker writes Caray, the son of late Baseball HOFer HARRY CARAY, "became as much the voice of baseball in the Southeast as his father had been in the Midwest." Caray "made his mark broadcasting Braves games on radio and television from 1976," and with his "nasally voice, wry and witty delivery, and tongue often in cheek, Caray became an enduring sound of summer in the South." Tucker adds in recent years, Caray's "biggest professional thrills seemed to come from working with family." CHIP CARAY rejoined the Braves' broadcast lineup in '05, "often working with the man he called 'my dad and my hero'" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/4). Chip Caray: "I'm just in shock. I know he wasn't feeling good, but this was unexpected." MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote Skip's sons, Chip and Single-A South Atlantic League Rome Braves announcer JOSH CARAY, "will carry on the family's rich broadcasting tradition." Though Skip Caray "battled multiple ailments over the past year that he linked to diabetes," he still "brought his smile and humor to the ballpark on a consistent basis." Though "most recognizable as a baseball announcer, Caray's versatile broadcasting skills allowed him to serve as an announcer for NBA games, NFL games, and other ventures like the Goodwill Games." Caray also won the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year award six times (MLB.com, 8/3). He was inducted into the Braves HOF in '05 along with longtime broadcast partner PETE VAN WIEREN (THE DAILY).

LASTING IMPRESSION: In Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote Caray "wasn't from the neo-announcer's school of happy talk." In an industry "predicated on likeability, he really didn't care if you liked him or not. He said what he thought -- near the end of a lopsided game, he famously intoned: 'If you promise to patronize our sponsors, you have permission to go walk the dog'" (AJC.com, 8/3). Also in Atlanta, Carroll Rogers notes news of Caray's passing "hit the Braves family hard." Braves P JOHN SMOLTZ: "I will always remember Skip for his humor and his ability to go about life the way he did." Braves P TOM GLAVINE: "For so long, he was what people associated with the Atlanta Braves. Turn on TBS, and there was Skip. Good times, bad times, that was the constant. The voice people identify the Braves with is Skip Caray. That's going to be missed" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/4). In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote, "Caray probably was at his best when the Braves were at their worst in the 1980s, using a dry wit to enlighten otherwise-dull games" (TIMESUNION.com, 8/3). WWAY-ABC's Kevin Wuzzardo writes, "When you spend years painting the picture of a horrid team, you have to be colorful. Skip Caray was MICHELANGELO, MONET and MAGRITTE rolled into one" (WWAYTV3.com, 8/4). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell writes, "The Baseball community lost a good one yesterday. ... I grew up watching Braves games on TBS and he was always one of the guys I enjoyed listening to" (AWFULANNOUNCING.BLOGSPOT.com, 8/4). 

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