Sunday, August 03, 2008

Skip Caray Will Be Missed

One of my all-time favorite baseball announcers, Skip Caray, passed away today at age 68. The son of Baseball Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray and the son of current Atlanta Braves play-by-play man Chip Caray, Skip began working Braves games in 1976. When our house first received cable in 1983, I became a fan of watching Braves telecasts on Superstation WTBS, the Ted Turner-owned network that carried all Braves home and away games. Despite the presence of perennial All-Star Dale Murphy, the Braves were an awful team during most of the '80s (do names like Bruce Benedict, Rafael Ramirez, Rick Camp and Brad Komminsk ring a bell?), but they were always fun to watch because of the experts in the announcing booth: Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren and, of course, Skip, who was likely the funniest sports announcer in television outside of Gary McCord. His style was the opposite of his father's. He didn't often say a lot in the TV booth, understanding the way few announcers do that television is a visual medium, and his job was just to fill in the blanks.

Caray had been suffering from ill health for quite awhile now, including kidney and heart ailments, and had only been broadcasting Braves home games. He died peacefully in bed. He will be missed.

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